Leylah Annie Fernandez has second round upset at Indian Wells

Leylah Annie Fernandez (Facebook)

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Montreal, Quebec has advanced to the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. On Sunday night, Fernandez, the 23rd seed, defeated the ninth seed, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, the 23rd seed, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in the second round.

The battle between Fernandez and Pavlyuchenkova saw two grand slam finalists from 2021 face each other. Pavlyuchenkova reached the 2021 French Open final before losing to Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4. Meanwhile, Fernandez reached the 2021 United States Open final before losing to Emma Raducanu of Great Britain, 6-4, 6-3.

The major reason for Fernandez’s win on Sunday came down to her exceptional foot work. Fernandez’s speed and stamina was more impressive than Pavlyuchenkova’s power. The Russian veteran also seemed to be more tired in the final set and did not have the same level of energy as she did earlier on. Fernandez will now play American Shelby Rogers in the third round on Tuesday. Rogers won their only prior battle in the second round of the 2020 Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky. Rogers came through with a 6-2, 7-5 win.

There is only one other Canadian left in singles at Indian Wells. That is the ninth seed, Denis Shapovalov of Toronto, who is playing Russian Aslan Karatsev of Russia, the 19th seed in the third round on Monday. Both Shapovalov and Karatsev reached a grand slam semifinal in 2021. Karatsev was in the final four of the Australian Open, and Shapovalov was in the final four of Wimbledon. This is their first head-to-head meeting. Shapovalov beat fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil of Vernon, British Columbia 3-0 in the second round on Saturday. Pospisil pulled out on Saturday after a back injury.

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