Leylah Annie Fernandez didn’t let her championship loss in Acapulco last weekend affect her performance in Monterrey this week. Quite the opposite, actually.

Fernandez battled back from down a set to defeat Sloane Stephens 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Monterrey Open on Wednesday night.

After a magical run for the 17 year old in her maiden WTA International event, it’s been much of the same this week. The Montreal native is having a real hard time losing right now, much to the delight of Canadian tennis fans across the country.

It felt like anyone’s game in the first set, with both Fernandez and Stephens breaking each other in their opening service games.

But both players settled down after that, each making some great shots and playing fundamental all-court tennis. There were only two more break points in the entire set, one for each player, and both were saved. Fast forward ten consecutively service games held and it was off to a tiebreak to decide the opener.

But it was Stephens who got the breakthrough in the extra frame, winning three points off Fernandez’s serve and opening up a 5-3 lead. Though Fernandez battled hard, she couldn’t win a point on Stephens’ delivery after that, and the former U.S. Open champion took the first set.

It was all Fernandez the rest of the way, though.

She seemed as settled and poised as an energetic 17-year-old could throughout the set, matching Stephens shot for shot and hitting some difficult winners off both wings.

“LAF” had her first break-point opportunity of the set at 3-3, and she made no mistake, hitting a winner to get the all-important first break. And, just for good measure, she broke Stephens again on her next service game to win the set.

The youngster seemed to gain more and more confidence as the match went on, and when Stephens made an unforced error to give Fernandez the point, the break, and the second set, the Canadian knew she could win.

And did she ever, putting on an absolute clinic in the final set.

It was all business for the Montreal native, showing a level of maturity not usually displayed by a player who doesn’t turn 18 for six more months.

She was a machine in the final set, not letting Stephens get any momentum and rarely making any errors and displaying dominance behind her tricky lefty serve.

Fernandez was able to hold all five of her service games with ease, losing just four points throughout them. Saying it was an impressive performance would be an understatement, as LAF continues to win the hearts of Canadian tennis fans.

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Leaving Acapulco with so much gratitude. Thank you to @abiertomexicanodetenis for the Wild Card this week. Thank you to my team for all of your support this past week and all of the time. Thank YOU to the fans for showing up and giving me energy and motivation to keep fighting. Congrats @heatherwatson92 on the Title! I’m learning more and more week by week and I am ready to get back to work and play some more 🎾 SEE YOU SOON MONTERREY! Saliendo de Acapulco con tanta gratitud. Gracias a @abiertomexicanodetenis por el Wild Card de esta semana. Gracias a mi equipo por todo su apoyo la semana pasada y todo el tiempo. Gracias a los fanáticos por presentarse y darme energía y motivación para seguir luchando. ¡Felicidades @heatherwatson92 por el título! Estoy aprendiendo más y más semana a semana y estoy lista para volver al trabajo y jugar un poco más 🎾 ¡Nos vemos pronto MONTERREY!

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For the second time in as many months, it was Fernandez getting the better of a top player on the WTA tour.

In February, it was then-World No. 5 Belinda Bencic; on Wednesday night, No. 37 Stephens.

Next up for the feisty Canadian is either top-seed Elina Svitolina or qualifier Olga Govortsova in the quarter-finals.

The way she’s playing, and considering the players she’s beaten over the last month, she won’t care. After a final in Acapulco, she’s two wins away from playing in her second in as many weeks in Monterrey.

She’ll get a well-deserved day off tomorrow before playing her quarter-final match on Friday.

Fichman into second straight quarter-final

And Sharon Fichman continued her excellent string of play with partner Kateryna Bondarenko on Wednesday afternoon, defeating Arantxa Rus and Tamara Zidansek 7-5, 6-4 in their Monterrey Open round-of-16 match.

Fichman and Bondarenko were the better team in both sets, winning ten out of their eleven service games and breaking their opponent on three separate occasions.

One of those breaks came late in the first set; on their fourth opportunity, the Canadian and Ukrainian were able to overcome some tough serving to open up a 6-5 lead. Although they faced a break point of their own late in the game, they were able to stave it off and win the set.

The second set was full of break points, with five chances before two service games had been completed.

Fichman and Bondarenko were broken in their first service game of the set, but they were able to get the break back immediately to level the playing field.

It was at 3-3 when the duo turned the tide, winning four out of five points en route to another break and a 4-3 lead. That was all they needed, holding serve to win the set and book them a spot in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Fichman has been superb in doubles so far in 2020, reaching at least the semi-finals of three out of six tournaments, including a final in Acapulco last week.

That run ended with a tough championship loss to Giuliana Olmos and Desirae Krawczyk on Saturday.

But the Canadian-Ukraining pairing won’t have to wait long for revenge; it will be second seeded Olmos and Krawczyk waiting on the other side of the court on Thursday evening.

The way Fichman and Bondarenko are playing, Monterrey could be the breakout. But first, they need to avenge last week’s loss.

(Feature photo: Twitter/@Tennis)