Photo: Martin Sidorjak
The Miami Open has not been kind to the Canadians in the early rounds so far, as Leylah Annie Fernandez became the second Canadian to lose her opening match after being upset on Thursday by Karolina Muchova.
Fernandez threw everything at the former Top 20 player, showing great resolve in the second set to stay alive, but ultimately struggled on the big points as she was defeated 6-4, 7-6(3).
Break point conversion was ultimately the difference in this match, as both women had 10, but Muchova managed to convert four to Fernandez’s three. The Canadian did not do herself many favours on serve, only putting 63 percent of her first serves in play and winning just 59 percent of those points.
Muchova played a very solid match, striking 32 winners to just 10 unforced errors. Fernandez had 25 winners of her own but committed 12 unforced errors.
Both women applied pressure to their opponent’s serve right from the start, but it was Muchova striking first with a break in the fifth game to go up 3-2.
Down a break, Fernandez did everything she could to get back into the set, holding four break points to get back on serve, including going up 15-40 as the Czech served for the set at 5-4, but she was unable to convert any of her opportunities as she dropped the nearly one hour opening set.
Things looked bad for the Canadian as she was broken in the opening game of the second set, but at long last she was able to break through in the following game.
Once back on serve, the second set turned into a repeat of the first, with Muchova frustrating Fernandez with her consistency, breaking serve in the fifth game, but running into trouble as she tried to serve it out.
Twice Muchova served for the match in the second set but both times, at 5-4 and 6-5, Fernandez managed to break back, including a scorching forehand return winner to send the set to a tiebreak.
But in the breaker, after going down an early minibreak, Muchova reeled off six straight points to set up four match points, closing out the match on the second with a volley winner.
There are no Canadian women left in the singles draw in Miami, although Fernandez and Gabriela Dabrowski are both competing (separately) in the women’s doubles. Both Canadian men, Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, have yet to play their opening matches.