Fernandez Holding Racket

Photo: Mauricio Paiz

Leylah Annie Fernandez’s dreams of winning back-to-back titles in Asia have come to a close. After a strong showing in the quarter-finals of the Jiangxi Open, the 21-year-old dropped straight sets 7-5, 6-4 in a tightly contested battle against Katerina Siniakova. 

Last week, Fernandez took home the trophy in Hong Kong, which had been her first title in 19 months dating back to Monterrey in March 2022. She had faced off against Siniakova in the finals, leading to the latter exacting her revenge in Nanchang, China. 

Despite her loss, however, Fernandez wasn’t a slouch, making sure she gave her all in each game. Both managed to break each other’s serves several times in the first set, but a Siniakova’s break of serve in the penultimate game proved to be the difference-maker. Fernandez couldn’t pull off the comeback, but she showed some fierce signs of determination throughout. 

The Canadian fought mightily in both of her sets as the match wound up being close overall. Both had a single ace, and Fernandez secured 54 per cent of her first serve points. She struggled more in her second serve points, however, converting only 33 per cent. On the service return side of things, she struggled on the first returns, winning only 38 per cent, but was much more resilient in second returns, winning 71 per cent of them. 

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In the latter set, Siniakova scored two aces to Fernandez’s zero. While the first serve points were evenly spread out, it was in the second serves that Siniakova widened the gap, converting 60 per cent while Fernandez only converted 42 per cent. Siniakova was strong in her service returns, managing to break Fernandez’s serves three times.  

The Canadian held on as best as she could in the first half of the second set, despite the break of serves, but her energy dwindled fast in the back half. The final game ended quickly, as Siniakova had her eyes fully set on evening the tides following her loss in the finals in Hong Kong a week ago. 

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In the end, Fernandez put up a solid effort in her attempt to reach her second finals in Asia in as many weeks, but it simply wasn’t enough to push Siniakova aside. Given her recent run, her ranking could shoot into the Top 40 next week.

Siniakova will face off against fellow Czech player Marie Bouzkova in the finals tomorrow.