Leylah Annie Fernandez reaches final of the 2024 Eastbourne International

Leylah Annie Fernandez (Hameltion, Wikimedia Commons)

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Montreal, Quebec reached the final of the 2024 Eastbourne International on Sunday. She is the second Canadian tennis player to reach the singles final of the Eastbourne International. In 2009 in the men’s event, Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ontario reached the final before losing to Dmitry Tursunov of Russia, 6-3, 7-6.

Fernandez upset the fourth seed Madison Keys of the United States in Friday’s semifinal, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Fernandez won 58% of the points on her second serve, while Keys only won 42% of the points on her second serve. Fernandez and Keys have something significant in common. They both went to a United States Open final. Fernandez lost to Emma Raducanu of Great Britain in 2021, 6-4, 6-3, and Keys lost to Sloane Stephens of the United States in 2017, 6-3, 6-0.

Keys is one of two seeded players that Fernandez has beaten at the Eastbourne International so far. She also beat the seventh seed and 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 on Monday.

In the Eastbourne Final, Keys will face Daria Kasatkina of Russia, the sixth seed. Kasatkina is a grand slam semifinalist as she reached the French Open semifinals in 2022. Fernandez has lost both prior meetings to Kasatkina. The first time was a 6-2, 6-2 loss in the first round of the 2022 San Diego Open, and the second time was a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 loss in the second round of the 2022 Italian Open.

This will be Fernandez’s sixth WTA final. She previously won the 2021 and 2022 Monterrey Open in Mexico, and the 2023 Hong Kong Open. Once Fernandez is done at Eastbourne, she will travel to Wimbledon, where she will face Lucia Bronzetti of Italy in the first round.

 

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