Fernandez and Townsend RG trophies

Photo: Martin Sidorjak

After a very promising start, Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Quebec and her American partner, Taylor Townsend just couldn’t get over the finish line in the women’s doubles final at Roland-Garros on Sunday morning in Paris despite a valiant effort. 

Seeded tenth in the draw, the duo fell 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 to Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei and Wang Xinyu of China in an entertaining championship match on Court Philippe-Chartrier.  

Fernandez and Townsend were unable to convert two break point opportunities in the opening game of the match, but it was a sign of things to come for the pair in the first. They broke with their first chance in the third game which was the start of a five-game win streak to take the opening frame in dominant fashion. They were the better team in every facet of the doubles with Fernandez controlling the play from the baseline and Townsend patrolling the net effectively.


Hsieh, the crafty veteran, and Wang rebounded nicely at the start of set two. They broke their opponents’ serve for the first time in the contest out of the gate in the opening game and successfully held their lead until they were broken while serving for the set at 5-4. Now level at 5-5, Fernandez and Townsend held serve not without difficulty in the eleventh game to regain their advantage. A love hold from Hsieh and Wang meant that a tiebreak would decide the outcome of the second set. In the end, Hsieh and Wang earned the decisive mini-break at 5-3 and converted their second set point chance.

They carried their momentum into the final frame and jumped out to a 3-0 lead after breaking Fernandez’s serve. The Canadian-American combo had multiple opportunities to get back on serve in the fifth game, but couldn’t get back on level terms in what would be their last stand in the match as Hsieh and Wang moved swiftly to an impressive victory.


This was Fernandez’s first appearance in a Grand Slam doubles final and second Major championship match overall after finishing as the runner-up in singles to Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu at the 2021 U.S. Open. As for Townsend, she was contesting her second Grand Slam final. She and compatriot Caty McNally were finalists at the U.S. Open last year.

Roland-Garros was the first Grand Slam Fernandez and Townsend played together and it certainly won’t be the last as their strong 2023 season on the doubles court continues. So far, they’ve reached a Major final, a WTA 1000 final in Miami, and another semifinal in Madrid on clay a few weeks ago.