Canada’s Rebecca Marino lost 7-6 (2), 6-3 to Italy’s Jasmine Paolini in the first round of the WTA Tour’s Gippsland Trophy on Sunday.
The tournament is one of three warmup events for the Australian Open, which starts Feb. 8.
Marino, ranked 313th in the world, qualified for the Australian Open earlier this month in Dubai. The Vancouver player will be competing in a Grand Slam for the first time in eight years.
Marino saved just one of five break points against the 97th-ranked Paolini, while the Italian saved seven of nine.
Paolini will face No. 10 seed Quang Wang of China in the second round.
Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., and Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., are the other Canadian women in the singles draw at the Australian Open. They’ll both play in the Grampians Trophy, starting Wednesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published January, 30, 2021.