Australian Open 2022: Maddison Inglis v Kaia Kanepi

Tennis

Australian wildcard Maddison Inglis is ruing a mid-match plummet that eliminated her in the third round of her home grand slam.

Inglis grabbed the first set 6-2 in her match against world No.115 Estonian Kaia Kanepi at Rod Laver Arena, but she lost the next two sets 6-2 and 6-0.

It brought to a halt an impressive and unexpected Australian Open run, which had seen the 24-year-old from Perth defeat the more fancied Leylah Fernandez and Hailey Baptiste in the first two rounds.

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Inglis, ranked 133rd in the world and competing in her first singles major, wasn’t expected to progress beyond round one.

But there was nonetheless a hint of regret during her press conference after the loss to Kanepi.

“I thought I played quite solid in the first set. I was dictating the points a little bit more. She made a few errors I think that maybe she didn’t in the second and third,” Inglis said.

“I thought maybe (I) just dropped a little bit in most aspects.

“I really tried to keep my energy going and tried to get energy from the crowd. They were amazing out there, the crowd. I was really lucky to have that.

“I think she just played really well in the second and third. I don’t think I played my best, so (it) wasn’t a good combo.”

Stream every match, every court of the Australian Open live and free on 9Now.

Inglis is now targeting next month’s Dubai tennis championships and Qatar Open.

She also wants to find a coach and is now in a much stronger financial position to afford one, after securing $221,000 for reaching the third round.

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“I think there’s still so much work to do and a lot of things to improve on, which is exciting,” Inglis said.

“I think it’s just sometimes you think maybe I can’t get to that next level, but I think this week I really proved to myself and to the people around me that I do have it in me.

“Belief does a lot for … your game, how you play, I think.

“I’m just hoping to channel that and take it into the next tournament.”

Top seed Ash Barty is the only Australian remaining in the women’s singles draw.

The reigning Wimbledon champion is set for a fourth-round clash with American world No.60 Amanda Anisimova at Rod Laver Arena.

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