Photo: Mauricio Paiz
Leylah Annie Fernandez is keeping her hot streak alive. Today, she bested 29-year-old Aliaksandra Sasnovich to reach the semifinals of the Jiangxi International Women’s Tennis Open in China.
Completing the match in just under 90 minutes, Fernandez breezed her way through it, winning straight sets to move onto her second semifinals in as many weeks. She won the first set 6-3 and the second 6-4.
The 21-year-old from Laval put up solid numbers in her win against Sasnovich, scoring four aces and converting over half of her break points. She put 70 per cent of her first serves in play, winning 67 per cent of them and 50 per cent of her second serve points.
Though not quite as statistically overpowering as her quarter-final last week against Linda Fruhvirtova in Hong Kong, Fernandez still found ways to ensure another key victory.
Fernandez dominated in the first set, ringing in four aces and saving her only break point to set the tone of the match. She won three straight games, including a break of serve, to take a commanding 3-0 lead. The break wound up being all that Fernandez needed to win the set.
A key difference-maker in the first set was Fernandez’s ability to secure first and second serve points, as Sasnovich failed to make a dent in those categories.
The second set proved to be a slightly more challenging affair as the first four games resulted in lost serves from both parties. Despite falling behind 3-2 after the fifth game, Fernandez kept her cool, winning three straight games, including breaking Sasnovich’s penultimate serve.
Even though Fernandez couldn’t bring the streak to four games, a tightly contested final match went her way, leading her to secure a well-deserved victory in Nanchang. The second set was slightly more even from a statistical point of view, but Sasnovich’s low efficiency on her serves proved to be the catalyst in the match.
The match against Sasnovich was Fernandez’s second of the day due to a rain delay, but her win dispelled any qualms or fears that she may have been running out of steam. Her second set showed some signs of fatigue but it wasn’t enough to help her opponent get the best of her.
As well, Fernandez’s victory marked the longest winning streak of her career at eight straight matches.
Fernandez is set to play again tomorrow against 27-year-old Katerina Siniakova in a rematch of last week’s final in the Hong Kong open. With Fernandez walking away with a victory, she’ll look to replicate her good fortunes in Nanchang.