Sat, 21 May 2022

Australian Maddison Inglis capitalized on 30 unforced errors to bounce No. 23 seed Leylah Fernandez from the Australian Open in first-round play Tuesday.

Inglis, 24, entered as a wild-card entry and 133rd overall but eliminated Fernandez 6-2, 6-4. Fernandez, the 19-year-old Canadian who played in the U.S. Open final in 2021, dropped serve three times in the match.

"This is my first main-draw win. I had thought of that moment for a long time," said Inglis. "It was just pure happiness. I was so happy. I saw the ball go out (on match point) and I looked at my box. It was an amazing moment. I'm really so happy I could have it here in Melbourne, with all my friends and family there. It was incredible. I'm really lucky."

Inglis entered with career earnings of $530,716 and stands to make over $150,000 by reaching the second round. Another victory would be worth a sum of $221,000. She'll face American qualifier Hailey Baptiste.

"Maddie is a very, very good player," Fernandez said. "She works hard. She fights for every point. She runs for every ball. She's a great all-court player. ... Unfortunately, I just did not play well."

Emma Raducanu, who beat Fernandez in Flushing, N.Y., to win the U.S. Open, followed Inglis' upset with a 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 defeat of American Sloane Stephens.

"I knew there were going to be some very long rallies, and I was having to work extremely hard for my points and I'm so happy to have got through," Raducanu said.

The 17th-seeded Raducanu moves into the Round of 64 with Montenegrin Danka Kovinic waiting.

Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) avoided an upset as the second seed rallied to win nine consecutive games and send Storm Sanders home, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

No. 3 seed Garbine Muguruza, who played in the women's final of the Australian Open in 2020, cruised past Clara Burel 6-3, 6-4.

Petra Kvitova was knocked off for the second consecutive year by Romania's Sorana Cirstea (6-2, 6-2).

Simona Halep, No. 14 in Melbourne, advanced to the second round as did No. 19 Elise Mertens.

--Field Level Media

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