JAWAIRIAH Noordin became the first local to win a set in the BMW Malaysian Open but the 22-year-old still went home a loser yesterday.
The 22-year-old was defeated 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 by Japan's World No 387 Shuko Aoyama in the first round of the qualifiers.
Jawairiah, however, could have done better had she been fitter. The other factor that affected her play was that she suffered breathing difficulties after training on Monday.
The Penang-born struggled with her game in the third set, where she allowed Shuko to break her twice for a 4-0 lead before rain halted play for nearly one hour.
When play resumed, Jawairiah broke twice to reduce the deficit before Shuko sealed the match.
"I could have won if my fitness was better. I trained only two months for this event," said Jawairiah at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Club.
"I need to improve my fitness to go far in this sport. I believe this defeat will motivate me to train harder for upcoming tournaments."
On her breathing difficulties, Jawairiah said: "I was on drips at the Penang Hospital but the doctor cleared me on the same day."
Malaysia's campaign officially ended after Choo Lyn Yuen was thrashed 6-0, 6-2 by Ukraine's Tetyana Arefeva. It was Lyn Yuen's first ever experience on the tour.
"I did not make many mistakes but my opponent killed me off with her power and speed. I need to toughen up," said the Form Four student of SMK Batu Lintang.
She said: "It was a good experience but it could be my first and last tour match as I do not want to turn professional. I intend to join my sisters in the United States."