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US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez upset in first round of Australian Open


MELBOURNE, Australia – Four months later and on the other side of the world, Leylah Fernandez lost to a 133-ranked wild card in her first Grand Slam tennis match since she finished second at the US Open.

The 19-year-old Canadian tennis player lost 6-2, 6-4 first Maddison Inglis in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday, marking the third year in a row she failed to make it to the second round at her first professional tennis tournament of the year.

Fernandez made 30 unforced errors, missed serve three times and hit just eight Arena 1573 winners against Inglis, who converted the third match point to complete the first win in the main draw. . She lost in the first round at the Australian Open last year to the then defending champion Sofia Kenin.

“Today is not a good day. Too many mistakes,” Fernandez said.

For Fernandez, the venue and vibe was a long way from her run to the final at Flushing Meadows, where she lost. Emma Raducanu.

In a match that ended the day, Raducanu defeated Sloane Stephens 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 in a round 1 matchup between the US Open champions.

17th seed Raducanu won the first set in 17 minutes and seemed in complete control of her first main draw at Melbourne Park.

But Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion, converted his fifth break-point chance to open the second set in a 12-minute match that ended in a double foul from Raducanu.

Two early service breaks gave Raducanu a 5-0 lead in the third set, and she served to finish in 1 hour and 45 minutes. This is her first win of 2022.

Raducanu will play 98 Danka Kovinic in the next round.

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka appeared to be on her way out before she recovered from a set and a break, winning nine games in a row before completing a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win over 128th place Storm Sanders.

The third seed Garbine Muguruza, meanwhile, kept a perfect streak intact as she won her first Australian Open for the 10th time in a row, beating the 77th-placed Clara Burel 6-3, 6-4 will take place at Rod Laver Arena on Day 2.

Runner-up in Australia in 2020 to Kenin – who lost in the first round on Monday – Muguruza said she was always cautious earlier in a major tournament.

“I know, I know,” Muguruza said, laughing when asked if she knew about her Melbourne Park journey. ” a Grand Slam campaign. I always get through the first round.

“Very happy with the way I play and, of course, control the nerves.”

Muguruza, the two-time major champion, will next play the French veteran Alize CornetWho beat? Viktoriya Tomova 6-3, 6-3.

The sixth seed Anett Kontaveit, runner-up Muguruza at last year’s WTA Finals, won 6-2, 6-3 Katerina Siniakova. Seventh seed Iga Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, opened with a 6-3, 6-0 win over the 123rd place team in the England qualifiers Harriet Dart.

Also moving up to 10th place Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and number 14 Simona Halep, a former No. 1 and two-time grand finalist champion in 2018 at Melbourne Park.

Number 19 Elise Mertens beat Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 7-5, and former US Open champion Sam Stosur rally to defeat Robin Anderson of US 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3 to kick off the 20th – and final – Australian Open campaign.

Two-time Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova lose Sorana Cirstea of Romania for the second year in a row, this time 6-2, 6-2 in the first round.

“Yes, I think she likes my game, that she will pursue it,” said Kvitova, who was a finalist at the Australian Open three years ago. “I also had some health problems for the whole month, so it was difficult to work out during the month at home.

“But the season is long, so I hope that changes.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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