Leylah Annie Fernandez reaches quarterfinals of Qatar

Leylah Annie Fernandez (Hameltion, Wikimedia Commons)

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Montreal, Quebec has reached the quarterfinals of the WTA Tennis event in Doha, Qatar. In third round action on Wednesday, Fernandez, the 38th ranked player in the world, upset the seventh ranked player, and 2024 Australian Open finalist, Qinwen Zheng of China, 7-5, 6-3.

In a match that lasted 92 minutes, Fernandez broke Zheng three times in the match, and was the more effective player. Of the 121 points, Fernandez won 68, while Zheng won 53.

This was the second career meeting between Zheng and Fernandez. The 21-year-old Canadian won their only prior matchup. That came in the second round of Monterrey, Mexico in 2022, which Fernandez won 6-1, 4-6, 7-6.

Fernandez will next play Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, the third seed in the quarterfinals. Rybakina is a grand slam champion, as she won Wimbledon in 2022. Fernandez is a grand slam finalist as she made the United States Open final in 2021. This will be their first meeting head-to-head.

It has been quite the tournament for Fernandez in Doha. She upset the 12th seed Liudmila Samsonova of Russia 7-5, 7-6 in round one, and 2021 Indian Wells champion Paula Badosa of Spain, 0-6, 6-2, 6-3 in round two.  The other quarterfinals in Qatar have Danielle Collins of the United States against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, Naomi Osaka of Japan against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic and Iga Swiatek of Poland against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.



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