Photo : @BNPPARIBASOPEN
For the second year in a row, Leylah Annie Fernandez’s campaign at the BNP Paribas Open ended in the last sixteen after the Canadian lost to defending champion Paula Badosa on Tuesday night.
In a match full of gruelling baseline exchanges, the fifth seed’s powerful hitting proved to be too much for Fernandez, who faced 12 break points on her own serve and was broken three times as she lost 6-4, 6-4.
The Canadian did a good job of hanging with Badosa in the hard-hitting rallies, striking 24 winners. However, she only managed to win 57 percent of her service points and committed 37 errors. Badosa’s raw power also made a difference, as she ripped 23 winners.
Fernandez was playing with fire from the start, having to save four break points in her first three service games before finally being broken at 3-all.
She responded immediately, drawing an error from Badosa to immediately get back on serve in the next game, but the difficulties on serve continued and the Spaniard broke right back to retake the lead at 5-4, serving out the set a game later.
Failing to convert a pair of break points early in the second set proved costly for Fernandez, as she went down love-40 in the fifth game and, despite saving those first three break points, she netted a backhand at 40-AD to go down a set and a break.
While the Canadian has won many a big match from such a deficit, the defending champion ultimately proved too much on this night as Badosa did not let Fernandez back into this match, saving both break points she faced at 4-3 as she powered her way to victory.
Last year, Fernandez lost in the same round to Shelby Rogers, who she beat in the third round this year.
Mixed Results in Doubles
Fernandez’s tournament is not over yet, as she could join Gabriela Dabrowski in the semi-finals of the women’s doubles should she win tomorrow.
Dabrowski and partner Giuliana Olmos advanced to the final four with a three-set win earlier on Tuesday over the all-Romanian pair of Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu.
The two pairs split the first two sets, each taking one 6-2, before the Canadian-Mexican team won the match tiebreak 10-7 to advance to the semi-finals.
Dabrowski was the only victorious Canadian on Tuesday, as Denis Shapovalov dropped his second-round doubles match with Rohan Bopanna 10-4 in the match tiebreak to Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.