Instagram : @leylahannietennis

On Sunday, Jessica Pegula (5) got the better of Leylah Annie Fernandez (7-5, 6-4) in their tough third-round battle at the Miami Open. In the end, the American’s power and experience won out over Leylah’s aggressive play. 

In their first career match, both players needed a few games to settle in. They held serve until the eighth game, when Leylah got hold of a break. 

Close, but not enough

On serve at 5-3 to take the opening set, the Canadian fell short, and Pegula relied on the experience she’s gained in big moments to tip the balance in her favour. 

Read also: Frenzied Davis Cup atmosphere helps propel Team Canada

The reigning National Bank Open champion locked in four straight games to prevail 7-5. 

A fight to the finish

Despite being broken early in the second set, Leylah found a way to stop her opponent from consolidating, but her unforced errors caught up with her and helped Pegula get ahead.

The Canadian rallied to 3-3 but dropped her serve on the 13th break point against her. She thrilled the crowd with spectacular shots and sprints to the net, but it was too little too late. 

Her rival clinched the match by holding serve at zero.

In the round of 16, Jessica Pegula will take on Emma Navarro (20) of the US, who defeated Jasmine Paolini. 

As for Leylah Annie Fernandez, she’ll be back in action at the WTA500 Charleston Open that gets underway on April 1.  

Denis Shapovalov pulls up skates

On the day after his sparkling win over Stefanos Tsitsipas, Denis Shapovalov faced yet another uphill battle against Matteo Arnaldi. Unfortunately, the Canadian couldn’t build on his success and fell 6-3, 7-6(7). 

Both players started out strong, but the rain came down just as Arnaldi had an opportunity to break. When the match got back on track 30 minutes later, he broke a frustrated Shapovalov who couldn’t come up with any answers and let the set slip away.  

Seeking solutions

Even with the crowd behind him, Denis was broken again early in the second set. 

But something clicked when Arnaldi was on serve for the match: Shapovalov suddenly took flight and broke his rival at zero to bring the score to 6-5.

In the tiebreaker, Arnaldi produced a mini-break to take the lead 4-2, but Denis came back to win three straight points. He had a set point at 7-6 but couldn’t figure out a way to stop Arnaldi from sealing the deal on his second match point. 

In the next round, Arnaldi goes head-to-head against either Andy Murray or Tomas Machac.