leylah fernandez stretches for ball

Photo: @Abierto_GNP

Make that three WTA Tour-level finals for Leylah Annie Fernandez in Mexico, as the 19-year-old Canadian cruised past Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 6-1, 6-4 in the Abierto GNP Seguros semi-finals on Saturday evening.

Fernandez, the 2021 champion, is playing tremendous tennis this week in Monterrey – a tournament she’s grown to love. The Canadian has beaten Anna Karolína Schmiedlová, Qinwen Zheng, Qiang Wang, and Haddad Maia so far this week, and only Camila Osorio remains in the way of her second career title.

On top of securing a spot in the championship match, Fernandez improved her semi-final record to a perfect 4-0. 

Right out the gate, Fernandez was much more effective than her opponent, winning 12 of the first 14 points to take an early 3-0 lead. She would add another break in the sixth game and then held to love in the seventh game to clinch the opening set in 22 minutes.

Haddad Maia had a stronger start to the second set, holding to love in the first game and having her first break point opportunity in the second game. However, the Brazilian wasn’t able to maintain that high-level play, couldn’t convert the break point, and was broken by Fernandez in the next game.

Fernandez didn’t face another break point and eventually claimed the match in the 10th game. It was an outstanding performance from the Canadian teen.

In the finals, Fernandez will face Osorio for the first time on the WTA tour. The Quebecer is looking to become the first Canadian since Milos Raonic in 2013 to win back-to-back singles titles at the same event.