Leylah Annie Fernandez reaches second round of 2024 Qatar Open

Leylah Annie Fernandez (Hameltion, Wikimedia Commons)

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Montreal, Quebec won her opening round match on Monday at the Qatar TotalEnergies Open in Doha. It was a first round upset for Fernandez as she defeated the 12th seed and 15th ranked player in the world, Liudmila Samsonova of Russia, 7-5, 7-6.

Fernandez, the 38th ranked player in the world, made the most of her break point opportunities. She broke Samsonova three times in six opportunities, including a key break late in the first set. Then in the second set tiebreak, Fernandez beat Samsonova 7-4.

There was a lot of energy in Fernandez’s game. She broke Samsonova early in the match, and did not get down too much when she got broken back.

Samsonova is a formidable opponent. She has won four tennis tournaments on the WTA Tour (2021 German Open, 2022 Washington Open, 2022 Tennis in Cleveland and the 2022 Pan Pacific Open). Then last year, Samsonova reached the finals of the United Arab Emirates, Canada and China. In the National Bank Open final in Montreal, Samsonova lost 6-1, 6-0 to Jessica Pegula of the United States.

Next up for Fernandez is Paula Badosa of Spain, the 2021 French Open quarterfinalist. All-time, Badosa has won two meetings head-to-head. The first came in the fourth round of Indian Wells in 2022 (6-4, 6-4), and the second came in the second round of Charleston in 2023 (7-5, 7-6).

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