Sloane Stephens was bundled out of the WTA Monterrey Open as teenage sensation Leylah Fernandez reached the quarter-finals 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3.

Stephens broke through for her first win of 2020 to book her spot in Wednesday's second-round match following a difficult start to the year.

But the American fifth seed was upstaged by 17-year-old Fernandez, who rallied past the 2017 US Open champion in three sets midweek.

Fernandez was a surprise finalist at last week's Mexican Open in Acapulco, where the Canadian reached her maiden WTA decider.

The in-form teenager moved through to back-to-back quarter-finals after prevailing in more than two hours against Stephens, with either top seed Elina Svitolina or Olga Govortsova awaiting.

Elsewhere at the WTA International event, sixth seed Rebecca Peterson defeated Kateryna Bondarenko 7-6 (7-2) 7-5, seventh seed Wang Yafan outlasted Astra Sharma 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3 and ninth seed Marie Bouzkova beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-4 6-1.

Sloane Stephens won her first match of 2020 after prevailing at the WTA Monterrey Open, while Venus Williams' woes continued.

Stephens – the American fifth seed – ended her drought by outlasting Emma Navarro 6-4 5-7 6-1 in Monterrey on Monday.

Prior to this week, Stephens had featured in four tournaments without a win, including a first-round exit at the Australian Open.

But the 2017 US Open champion finally opened her account for the year via the WTA International event after two hours, 17 minutes.

Former world number one Williams and her winless year continued, however, following a 4-6 6-3 6-2 defeat to qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

Seven-time grand slam winner Williams battled but the 39-year-old was eventually eliminated after two hours, 29 minutes on court.

Elsewhere, Wang Yafan, Rebecca Peterson, Olga Govortsova, Astra Sharma and Marie Bouzkova progressed to the second round.

Venus Williams' tough start to 2020 continued as she squandered seven match points in a first-round loss at the Mexican Open, while Sloane Stephens was also beaten.

Williams made an early exit at the Australian Open and the American veteran went down to Slovenian qualifier Kaja Juvan 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in Acapulco on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old wasted seven match points during the second set before bowing out after two hours, 38 minutes.

Williams, a two-time champion of the event, also served 13 double faults as she lost a fourth straight match – a run dating back to last year.

It was a tough day for the seeds at the WTA International event, where Williams was joined by Stephens and Lauren Davis in losing.

Stephens, the top seed and 2016 champion, suffered her fourth straight loss to begin 2020, going down to Mexican wildcard Renata Zarazua 6-4 6-2.

The fourth seed, Davis was edged by fellow American Christina McHale 6-2 1-6 6-4.

The only seed to advance was Zhu Lin, while there were also wins for Sara Errani, Katie Boulter, Katie Volynets, Leylah Fernandez and Caroline Dolehide.

World number one Ash Barty was relieved to come through the "chaos" of a first day of few shocks at the Australian Open.

Home favourite and top seed Barty had to come from a set down to progress in Melbourne, beating Lesia Tsurenko 5-7 6-1 6-1.

The Queenslander ensured she joined several other big names in advancing, with defending champion Naomi Osaka triumphing along with Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova - straight-sets winners over Anastasia Potapova and Katerina Siniakova respectively.

Venus Williams did not follow her sister into round two, though, as she fell to 15-year-old Coco Gauff once again.

Gauff had already beaten fellow American Williams at Wimbledon last year and pulled off a repeat on Monday.

Sloane Stephens crashed out 2-6 7-5 6-2 to Zhang Shuai, while Barbora Strycova lost to Sorana Cirstea in straight sets, but fellow seeds Petra Martic, Sofia Kenin and Ekaterina Alexandrova all advanced.

Caroline Wozniacki, who will retire at the end of the tournament, prolonged her career by easing past Kristie Ahn 6-1 6-3.


BARTY GETTING BETTER AT EACH SLAM

Barty won the French Open last season and feels she is improving with the experience of every major.

"It's always a little bit different, I think," she said. "Slams always feel like there's a lot of chaos going because there's so many people.

"It's busy with singles and doubles players, mixed players, families, coaches, everyone underneath. It's just chaos.

"When you're able to separate that from when you step on the court is when you can do a little bit better, play a little bit better, feel a little bit more comfortable.

"I feel like we've been able to do that better and better with each slam that I've played. It's an experience thing. You have to learn how to deal with it, but it's getting better."

Reflecting on her role as a home favourite and the top seed, Barty added: "I feel like I'm doing it the best way that I know how. I'm doing it with my team. We're doing it as a team.

"We're loving it. We're embracing it. There's no other way to approach it. I think we're just going along for the ride, trying to play some good tennis."


VENUS: THE SKY'S THE LIMIT FOR COCO

Seven-time grand slam winner Venus Williams knows a thing or two about champions, and she expects new nemesis Gauff to go all the way to the top.

Asked if the teenager has a "champion's mentality", Williams replied: "She clearly wants it, works very hard, is extremely mature for her age. I think the sky's the limit for her."

The veteran was impressed by Gauff's mentality, adding: "She just played very focused and put a lot of balls in the court. That's what you have to do.

"She'll play well for the rest of the event."


WOZNIACKI 'TRYING TO ENJOY THE MOMENT'

Knowing her career is coming to an end, Wozniacki acknowledged she found it difficult to keep her emotions in check.

But the 2018 champion is determined to enjoy her final days at the top of the sport.

"I feel good, having won my first match here. It's always tricky, especially knowing it's my last tournament," she said. "There's a lot of just emotions, but I tried to keep them in check, and I thought I did that very well today.

"I think I'm just really trying to enjoy every moment. I don't know that there is one particular moment, but there is once in a while where you're like, 'Wow, this really is my last one'.

"You never know, it [could be] still two weeks from now. But every match you go out there, I'm just going to give it everything that I have, because it could be the last."

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