Leylah Fernandez hits a forehand. She was eliminated from Indian Wells on Saturday along with Milos Raonic.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

Saturday got off to a disappointing start for the Canadians in Indian Wells, as Leylah Annie Fernandez was sent packing in her opening match by Diane Parry while Milos Raonic withdrew with an injury. 

Fernandez battled as she always does but found herself playing catch up for most of the day. Eventually, Parry was able to pull away to claim a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 win. 

Parry was the more solid of the two on serve, winning 74 per cent of her first serve points while attacking Fernandez’s delivery, claiming 62 per cent of points when the Canadian missed her first serve and creating a dozen break points, converting seven. 

On Friday, the Canadians had gotten off to quick starts in each with early breaks. But Fernandez had the opposite happen, as she went down love-40 and double faulted to get broken in her first get. 

Fortunately for the Canadian, Parry returned the favour a couple of games later, double faulting on break point to put the set back on serve. But it proved to be just a blip as in the following game, a couple of huge shots from Parry allowed her to immediately reclaim the break. 

Parry tightened up as she served for the set and played a terrible game, double-faulting three times in a love break that allowed Fernandez back to 5-5. But the Canadian failed to take advantage of her second chance, playing a poor game of her own to immediately give the break right back and the Frenchwoman did not let her second chance to serve out the set slip away. 

Fernandez found herself fighting to stay alive early in the second set, facing break points in each of her first two service games. However, she was able to hold on and then started to turn the tables on her opponent. She was rewarded at 4-3 when she went up love-40 and hit a return winner to move within a game of taking set. 

Like Parry had in the first, the Canadian blinked when serving for the set, double-faulting to go down 15-40 and then missing a backhand to put the set back on serve. But as the Frenchwoman served to stay in it at 5-6, a fortunate net cord gave Fernandez double set point and Parry missed a backhand on the second to send the match to a deciding set. 

It seemed as though the momentum was with the Canadian at the start of the decider when she broke to love for a 2-0 lead. But Parry quickly responded in dramatic fashion by winning six games in a row to finish off the upset. 

Fernandez was the lone Canadian woman competing in singles in Indian Wells. Félix Auger-Aliassime is the last Canadian standing in singles. 

Another Withdrawal for Raonic 

Milos Raonic was also slated to play his second-round match on Saturday, but pulled out ahead of the clash with ninth-seed Holger Rune with an injury. 

In the first round, Raonic had benefited from an injury when Rafael Nadal withdrew, instead setting up a clash with Sumit Nagal which the Canadian won easily. 

All three tournaments that the 33-year-old has played this year have ended with injuries. He retired in the first round of the Australian Open and in the quarter-finals of Rotterdam.