Leylah Fernandez, Maria Sakkari withdraw from Sydney

2021 US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez and world No. 6 Maria Sakkari have both withdrawn from Sydney.

Fernandez, 19, had been scheduled to make her Sydney debut this year. 

Sydney update

OUT: Fernandez

IN: Tomljanovic

NEXT: Zhang

— Entry List Updates Women (@EntryListsWomen) January 7, 2022

On the other side, Sakkari signed up to make her second main draw appearance in Sydney.

Sydney update

OUT: Sakkari

IN: Ostapenko

NEXT: Alexandrova

— Entry List Updates Women (@EntryListsWomen) January 5, 2022

Sakkari lost in the Sydney first round in 2017, before failing to make it past the Sydney qualifying a year later. 

Both Fernandez and Sakkari played in Adelaide this week and both lost in the round-of-16. 

Fernandez welcomes pressure and stress 

“Growing up I was taught that pressure and stress will be my best friend and I’m just going to take this tournament as that, just seeing where my game is at in the first tournament of the year. We’re going to see how I’m able to transition from what I did last year to this year and get ready for the Australian Open,” Fernandez said in Adelaide. 

Unfortunately for Fernandez, she suffered an early exit in Adelaide after losing to iga Swiatek in the round-of-16.

“I felt really confident, for sure, and I’m pretty happy that I could finish it really quickly and I didn’t let go of focus. So that was great,” Swiatek said after beating Fernandez. “I was pretty stressed because that was like the first match where I thought I’m playing against a younger girl, which is pretty new for me (laughter). Because I was always the younger one. She’s pretty talented, and of course, she is a Grand Slam finalist, so I knew it’s gonna be tricky.”

On the other side, Sakkari suffered a shock loss to Shelby Rogers. 

“It’s a great way to start the year. That’s what we want to do, is play the best players every week,” Rogers said. “It helps me to elevate my game to play someone like that.

“But I want to keep going. I want to see what else I can do.”

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