Quebecer Leylah Annie Fernandez had a heavy order in the first round of the Australian Open, having to admit defeat to Belgian Elise Mertens in two sets of 6-1 and 6-3, Monday in Melbourne.
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On lot 15, which was very noisy due to the railroad, the 18-year-old seemed to lack concentration at times. Fernandez was limp on the serve in the first set, going from four double faults and a total of 12 unforced errors.
The second round got off to a better start for Fernandez, who replied break-against-breakage to the 25-year-old Belgian, who came with momentum after her WTA Gippsland Trophy title, again in Melbourne.
In front of her was a tall waitress who managed to save two breakage balls in the first inning and who converted 77% of her first balls into points. Mertens also stole the serve of the 86th player in the world on five occasions.
At 5-2, the Laval player dismissed two match points to finally save herself with her second break of service in the duel. The 16th player in the world confirmed her victory in the next game.
Later in the men’s competition, British Columbian Vasek Pospisil will face Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, fourth seed in the Australian tournament, in the first round.
Medvedev too strong for Pospisil
Later that night, Vasek Pospisil lost the first round match between him and Russian Daniil Medvedev.
The Vernon, BC native was down in three sets of 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 to the fourth-ranked player in the world.
The winner found no difficulty breaking down his Canadian rival. He profited heavily from Pospisil’s second serve point, easily winning most of the rallies played in this situation.
The representative of the maple leaf failed in the first round of the first grand slam of the year for a third consecutive time. The 61st player in the world reached the third round of the prestigious event in 2015 and 2014.
In the next round, Medvedev will face the winner of the duel between Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena (99th) and Hungarian Attila Balazs (94th).