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U.S. Open runner-up Fernandez out in 1st round in Australia

Four months later and on the other side of the world, Leylah Fernandez lost to a 133rd-ranked wild-card entry in her first Grand Slam match since her runner-up finish at the U.S. Open.
The 19-year-old Canadian had an upset 6-2, 6-4 loss to Maddison Inglis in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday, the third straight year she’s failed to progress to the second round at the first tennis major of the year.
Fernandez made 30 unforced errors, dropped her serve three times and hit only eight winners on 1573 Arena against Inglis, who converted her third match point to complete her very first win in the main draw of a major.
She lost in the first round at last year’s Australian Open to then defending champion Sofia Kenin.
For Fernandez, the venue and the vibe were a long way from her run to the final at Flushing Meadows, where she lost to Emma Raducanu. Raducanu was scheduled to play later Tuesday against 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.
Navigating the first round at a major can be a tricky business, as two-time major winner Garbine Muguruza knows.
The third-seeded Muguruza kept a perfect streak intact when she won her first-round match at the Australian Open for the 10th straight time, beating No. 77-ranked Clara Burel 6-3, 6-4 to open play on Rod Laver Arena on Day 2.
A runner-up in Australia in 2020 to Kenin — who was a first-round loser on Monday — Muguruza said she’s always extra cautious early in a big tournament.
“I am aware, I am aware,” Muguzura said, laughing, when asked if she knew her Melbourne Park streak. ”Very tricky. You’re always nervous going out there on Rod Laver, which I love, and starting a Grand Slam campaign. I’ve always gone through the first round.
“Very happy the way I played and, of course, controlling the nerves.”
Third-seeded Muguruza will next play French veteran Alize Cornet, who beat Viktoriya Tomova 6-3, 6-3.
Sixth-seeded Anett Kontaveit, runner-up to Muguruza at least year’s WTA Finals, had a 6-2, 6-3 win over Katerina Siniakova. Seventh-seeded Iga Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, opened with a 6-3, 6-0 win over 123rd-ranked British qualifier Harriet Dart.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova lost to Sorana Cirstea of Romania for the second straight year, this time 6-2, 6-2 in the first round.
“Yeah, I think that she likes my game, that she just is going for it," Kvitova, an Australian Open finalist three years ago, said. "I did have some health issues the whole month, as well, so it was tough to practice during home month.
"But the season is long, so I hope that it will turn around.”
Also advancing were No. 19 Elise Mertens, who beat Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 7-5, and former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur, who rallied to beat Robin Anderson of the U.S. 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3 to start her 20th Australian Open campaign.
In early men's results, No. 5 Andrey Rublev beat Gianluca Mager 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, No. 13 Diego Schwartzman beat Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, No. 15 Roberto Bautista Agut beat Stefano Travaglia 7-6 (2), 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 and No. 27 Marin Cilic beat Emilio Gomez 6-3, 6-1, 6-2.
Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev was due to start his bid to win a second consecutive Grand Slam singles title when he played Henri Laaksonen in an afternoon match on Rod Laver Arena.
Medvedev, the runner-up in Australia last year, ended Novak Djokovic's bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam in 2021 with his victory in the U.S. Open final. With Djokovic out of the Australian Open, deported because he failed to meet Australia's strict COVID-19 vaccination rules, Medvedev is among the favorites.


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