Fernandez advances and will face Bia in Canada

Leylah Fernandez returns from injury and made first game since Roland Garros

Photo: Jimmie48/WTA

Toronto, Canada) – Playing on home soil, world number 13 Leylah Fernandez made her debut with a win at the WTA 1000 in Toronto. The 19-year-old Canadian, world number 13, overtook the Australian from the qualifying Storm Sanders, 273rd, on Monday by 6/4, 6/7 (2-7) and 6/4 at 2:41 from the start.

The match marked Fernandez’s return to the circuit for his first tournament since the good campaign until the quarter-finals of Roland Garros. The US Open runner-up had been out of competition for the past few weeks with a right foot injury.

Fernandez’s second-round opponent in Toronto will be Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, number 24 in the world. They have faced each other once this season, in the semi-finals in Monterrey, and the Canadian won in straight sets to claim the title the next day, beating Colombian Camila Osorio in the final.

“I’m still in shock from this victory and I’m super happy to play here in Toronto in front of my family. I just thought about all the sacrifices they all made for me and tried to stay focused to get the win. watching them, looking for strength and motivation,” said Fernandez, who had two match points in the second set when he won by 5/4.

“It was a difficult game, Storm played a great game. She is also left-handed, like me. And it’s very difficult to play against another left-hander. So I’m very happy that I managed to win and I’m sure she will be more and more on the big stages,” added the Canadian. Sanders led the winners 38-32, but committed 49 errors to the Canadian’s 38. The match had five breaks, four for Fernandez, one for Sanders.

Stephens wins 3-hour duel with Kenin
In a 3-hour match and two rain breaks, Sloane Stephens won the North American duel against Sofia Kenin and qualified for the WTA 1000 in Toronto. She scored 6/2, 6/7 (5-7) and 7/5 on Monday. Her next rival will be the Greek Maria Sakkari, seeded 3 in the tournament and world number 4.

Stephens’ victory could have been much smoother, as she led the second set 5/1 and had four match points in that end. Kenin returned both breaks and won the set on the tie-break. In the third set, Stephens opened 5/2, conceded the tie, but broke again. The match had 11 breaks, 7-4 for Stephens, and a total of 30 break points. Kenin had more winners, 37 to 27, but erred 61 to 38.

“It’s always difficult to face someone you know so well, it was windy and the conditions changed a lot during the game. I had a lot of match points throughout the game, but I I haven’t lost focus, I’m very proud of that,” Stephens said in the court interview. “It’s very important before the US Open, I’ll try to play as many matches as possible. I’ve had good results here in the past and I hope it stays that way.”

Cornet wins French duel, Keys loses on debut

Also on Monday, the Frenchwoman Alizé Cornet beat her compatriot Caroline Garcia by 6/3, 3/6 and 6/3. Cornet awaits the winner between the Russian Daria Kasatkina, champion last Sunday in San José, and the Canadian Bianca Andreescu. They meet again on Tuesday.

In the meeting between the North American Asia Muhammad, who came from qualified, and Madison Keys, better for Muhammad who scored 7/6 (7-5) and 6/4. She now faces another American player, No. 7 Jessica Pegula.

Julia Fleming

"Prone to fits of apathy. Beer evangelist. Incurable coffeeaholic. Internet expert."

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