Melbourne—Leylah Fernandez said she must “improve in every aspect” after the US Open runner-up was dumped out in the first round of the Australian Open by a wildcard on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old Canadian, who lost to fellow teenager Emma Raducanu in the championship decider at Flushing Meadows in September, saw her Melbourne title bid fall at the first hurdle against Australia’s 133rd-ranked Maddison Inglis, 6-4, 6-2.
Fernandez, seeded 23, was at a loss to explain her poor performance but said the only thing she could do would be to get back on the practice court as soon as possible.
“Today was just not a good day, too many mistakes,” said Fernandez, whose stunning exploits in New York where she knocked out defending champion Naomi Osaka and world number two Aryna Sabalenka had earmarked her as a star of the future.
“We had a good pre-season, we worked hard, we improved my tennis game,” she added after her return to Grand Slam action turned sour.
“Just leading up to these tournaments, I was just extremely happy with how I was progressing and how I was practising.”
Fernandez said she was determined to look forward despite her disappointment.
“I can’t go back in time,” she said.
“The only thing I can do right now is get back on the tennis court and put in the hours, work hard and just improve in every aspect.”