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Australian teen Destanee Aiava feeling tennis blues

11 January 2018 6:55 AM
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Australian teenager Destanee Aiava has been left close to tears after a straight-sets rout by former world No.5 Eugenie Bouchard in their Kooyong Classic match, saying she needs a break from tennis.

The 17-year-old had no answer to Bouchard, who posted a 6-2, 6-0 victory on Thursday in their Australian Open warm-up in Melbourne.

Aiava has had a big month, including winning a wildcard into her second grand slam, but it appears to be taking a toll with the youngster saying she needs some time out.

"This whole tennis thing is kind of getting to me," said Aiava, who is ranked world No.193. "Hopefully after the [Australian] Open, I will get a break which is what I want and what I need."

Aiava said she'd been in good form physically but, mentally, wasn't where she needed to be.

"It doesn't help when someone wants to walk on the court and get straight back off – that mental state doesn't help," she said. "Mentally, it's not there but, hopefully, I can get there all together by the first round."

Canadian Bouchard has had her own mental battles, losing on Monday in the first round in Hobart to Belarusian teenager Aryna Sabalenka.

The former Wimbledon finalist's ranking has slid to No. 83 after making a first-round exit last year in 14 tournaments, including Wimbledon and the US Open. She lost all three of her singles matches at last week's Hopman Cup in Perth.

Bouchard wasn't aware of Aiava's woes with it being their first meeting.

"I was happy to be out there and I was focused on myself and trying to work on things myself," the 23-year-old said.

"I don't want to feel any kind of continuation of 2017 because it really wasn't a good year for me. I worked hard in the off-season and I'm changing some things but I know that will take time."

In other Kooyong results, Australia's No.2-ranked Matt Ebden continued his good form, pushing former world No.7 Frenchman Richard Gasquet before a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) loss.


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