Leylah Annie Fernandez overcame a very poor start to the match and defeated Spaniard Paula Badosa 0-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the second round of the women’s tennis tournament in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday.
The Laval resident will now face the Chinese Qinwen Zheng, fifth seed in the tournament, in the round of 16. This will be the second match between them in their careers; Fernandez defeated Zheng 6-1, 4-6 and 7-6 (3) in the second round of the Monterrey Open, Mexico, in March 2022.
Fernandez, who is 38e in the world, is 1-3 in his career against Badosa on the WTA Tour. In their previous confrontation, Badosa had disposed of the representative of the maple leaf 7-5, 7-6 (6) in the second round of the Charleston tournament last year.
After a messy first set, the 21-year-old Quebecer was able to limit the waste in her game. She also posted a success rate with her first service ball of 74.3% for the match, compared to only 55, 7% for his opponent. Despite the obstacles, she sealed the outcome of the match after an hour and 54 minutes of play.
Fernandez, who lacked a little opportunism against the 79e world racket, also converted four of his 15 break points. By comparison, Badosa only managed to break the Canadian four times in nine opportunities — including three times in as many opportunities in the first set alone.
Unsurprisingly, Fernandez and her Georgian teammate Oksana Kalashnikova, who were to play their second round match in women’s doubles just hours after the Quebecer’s victory against Badosa, withdrew. The tournament favorites, Belgian Lise Mertens and Taiwanese Hsieh Su-wei, therefore advanced to the next round.
On the other hand, Ontario’s Gabriela Dabrowski and her New Zealand playing partner Erin Routliffe, who are the second seeds, will meet Russians Ekaterina Alexandrova and Irina Khromacheva.