Leylah Fernandez broke a 19-month drought by which she had not reached a tour-level semifinal on the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open on Friday, defeating Linda Fruhvirtova 7-6(2), 6-2 within the quarterfinals.
The Canadian has skilled fluctuating well being and outcomes ever since reaching the 2021 US Open last within the week she turned 19. The next yr, Fernandez made her second Grand Slam quarterfinal at Roland Garros — however sustained a foot damage at that match which derailed her momentum.
This June, lower than a yr after hitting her career-high rating of No.13, Fernandez discovered herself at risk of falling out of the High 100 as she fell to No.96. A run to the Guadalajara quarterfinals final month was trigger for optimism, however coming into Hong Kong, she had not made a semifinal since profitable her second profession title in Monterrey in March 2022.
However the 21-year-old feels she’s heading in the right direction once more right here, specific after defeating two highly-rated youngsters in Fruhvirtova and, one spherical beforehand, Mirra Andreeva.
“First semifinal in a very long time,” she mentioned after her quarterfinal win. “Getting these wins is further particular given what’s been occurring these previous few years. I am pleased with the way in which I fought, the way in which I discovered options. I am lastly discovering my sport as soon as once more.”
These options have been centered round a dedication to coming forwards each time attainable. Towards Andreeva, Fernandez received 17 of her 27 internet approaches. That statistic was even higher in opposition to Fruhvirtova as she claimed 16 internet factors out of 20, an efficient technique in opposition to a rock-solid opponent who solely dedicated six unforced errors.
Extra Hong Kong quarterfinal highlights: Blinkova d. Sorribes Tormo | Trevisan d. Mertens
Fernandez’s numbers had been spectacular all spherical — she nailed 34 winners to solely 13 unforced errors herself. Her subsequent problem will likely be No.5 seed Anna Blinkova, who defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-6(3), 6-3 to succeed in her third semifinal of the yr.
Blinkova is one other participant whose career-best outcomes over the previous yr have been characterised by effective internet play, and he or she obtained the higher of Fernandez 7-5, 6-2 on the grass of Unhealthy Homburg in June. The No.37-ranked 25-year-old will likely be bidding for her second last of 2023 following Strasbourg in Could.
- Fernandez resurgent in Hong Kong
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