June 20, 2024
Leylah Annie Fernandez

Canadian tennis star Leylah Fernandez’s run at the 2023 US Open ended abruptly in the opening round. Fernandez, who captured hearts with her Cinderella run to the finals in 2022, fell to Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia in a hard-fought three-set battle (7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4). The match stretched over three grueling hours, showcasing both players’ tenacity on the court.

Fernandez, ranked 67th at the time of the tournament, entered the match with the weight of home country expectations after her previous year’s heroics. She started strong, pushing Alexandrova (seeded 22nd) in the first set, ultimately losing a close tiebreaker. The Canadian bounced back in the second set, displaying her trademark grit to level the match.

The momentum shifted in the final set. Fernandez grabbed a crucial break to lead 4-3, but Alexandrova dug deep, breaking back immediately and claiming another service break to secure victory. Despite the defeat, Fernandez’s fighting spirit and ability to extend a higher-ranked opponent for three sets were encouraging signs.

This loss marked a disappointing start to the US Open for Fernandez, but it shouldn’t overshadow her achievements. Reaching a Grand Slam final at such a young age signifies immense talent and potential. Fernandez will look to learn from this experience and bounce back stronger in future tournaments.

For Canadian tennis fans, the focus now shifts to Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino, who was the last remaining Canadian in the singles competition at the 2023 US Open.

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