Photo: Abierto GNP Seguros
Leylah Annie Fernandez surprised the tennis world in Saturday’s semifinals at the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey Mexico, knocking out seventh-seeded Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-5, 7-5. The 18-year-old Canadian advances to the second WTA final of her young career after playing for the title in Acapulco last year where she lost 6-4, 6-7(8), 6-1 to Heather Watson of Great Britain in the championship match.
Fernandez’s victory is all the more impressive considering that Sorribes Tormo, ranked no. 57 in the world, has been playing great tennis in March. Last week, she captured her first WTA title in Guadalajara after defeating Eugenie Bouchard in the final. She had dropped only one set in her last seven matches.
Broken twice in a row by the Spaniard in the opening set, Fernandez showed her competitive character to fight back and level the score at 4-4. She broke Sorribes Tormo again to take a 5-4 lead and eventually win the set 7-5.
The two players continued their back and forth battle in the second frame. At 2-2, they traded breaks before bringing the score to 4-4. Later, Fernandez masterfully dug out of a 0-40 hole on her serve to take control of the match and she broke the Spaniard one final time to book her spot in the final.
Despite hitting quite a few errors, including seven double faults, Fernandez showed a lot of resilience despite her young age. She will face world no. 102 Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland for the title on Sunday. Golubic defeated American Ann Li 6-2, 6-4 in the other semifinal.
The Swiss has not lost a set so far this week in Monterrey and will be playing in her second straight final. A few weeks ago, she was the runner up at the Open de Lyon where she fell 6-4, 6-1 to Clara Tauson of Denmark.
Either way, both players will be extremely motivated on Sunday since they will each have the chance to capture the first WTA title of their careers.