Australia’s Max Purcell steps up as Genie Bouchard moves through qualifiers


An excited Fernandez, who was runner-up in last year’s Australian Open junior title, said she aims to lift her ranking from 209 to inside the top 100 this year.

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“Last year helped me a lot with the experience of a grand slam and I feel really comfortable,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez said she is determined to have fun while finding her feet this year and she is drawing inspiration from fellow Canadian Bouchard, who breezed through her second-round qualifying match against Australian Maddison Inglis.

Bouchard, a former semi-finalist at the Australian Open, bounced back from Tuesday’s encounter when she was affected by the smoke haze blanketing Melbourne.

Melbourne’s Belinda Woolcock could not match Romania’s Ana Bogdan, admitting that her opponent was too good for her in the conditions. However after receiving a wildcard into the qualifiers and winning her first match, she was rapt with the experience.

“It was an amazing opportunity for me,” Woolcock said.

After two days of qualifiers affected by weather there were more than 50 matches completed as the players moved into round two with confidence high the qualifying rounds will be completed well before the tournament officially kicks off next Monday.