Photo: Mauricio Paiz
For the second time in just over a month, Leylah Annie Fernandez has advanced to the Round of 16 of a WTA 1000 tournament. After accomplishing the feat on home soil at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Montreal earlier this summer, she’s once again through to that stage, this time at the Guadalajara Open thanks to a 6-3, 6-4 victory over world no. 29 Elise Mertens on Tuesday evening.
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) September 19, 2023
The 21-year-old Canadian, who lost her only previous meeting against the Belgian veteran at the 2021 Australian Open, was the better player this time around despite having to overcome deficits in both sets to come away with the win. In the opening frame, she won five straight games after quickly going down an early break at 0-2. She also trailed early in set two as Mertens attempted to mount a comeback, but Fernandez quickly reeled off another string of games en route to booking her spot in the third round. She was efficient on serve throughout the match and effective at keeping her opponent on the defensive with her return, making most of the opportunities she was given.
On Wednesday, Fernandez will face the winner of the all-American contest between fourth-seeded Madison Keys and Emma Navarro. The Laval native is also slated to play doubles with Taylor Townsend. The formidable duo will open against Ons Jabeur and Peyton Stearns. The U.S. Open champions, Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe will also take to the court against Lyudmyla Kichenok and Arantxa Rus.
Be sure to watch all the action from Guadalajara this week on TSN and TVA Sports.