WTA: Leylah Fernandez wins her first match in Madrid

MADRID — Canadians Leylah Fernandez and Bianca Andreescu have both reached the second round in Madrid.

Quebec’s Fernandez first defeated Germany’s Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 1-6, 6-4, before Andreescu defeated American Alison Riske 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.

Fernandez, the 17th seed of the tournament, sealed the outcome of the meeting presented on Spanish clay in one hour and 59 minutes. It was the first between the two players in their careers.

The 19-year-old Lavalloise will meet the Swiss Jil Teichmann, 35th racket in the world, in the next round. Teichmann won the only career match between the two players, which took place at the Fed Cup in June 2020.

As the score indicates, the 2021 US Open runner-up delivered a rather uneven performance.

She started the match with a bang, before experiencing a speed drop in the second set. Fernandez managed to get together in the third set to secure her ticket to the next round.

The Maple Leaf representative had two aces and three double faults against the 34-year-old. She was also more opportunistic than Petkovic, converting 4 of her 10 break points at her expense.

The German, 64th player in the world, converted three of her seven breakpoints against Fernandez.

Andreescu from Ontario also took nearly two hours to beat her opponent. Andreescu, now 111th in the world, and Riske, 42nd, both struggled to serve, but the Canadian was more opportunistic, converting six of the 11 break points offered to her by her opponent.

Andreescu through to second round in Madrid

Riske took advantage of only three of the eight breakpoints Andreescu allowed.

Andreescu was knocked out in the round of 16 at the Stuttgart tournament last week and will face sixth-ranked American Danielle Collins in the second round.

Collins also set the table for this game against Andreescu by beating Monica Puig 7-5, 6-0.

Puig, the gold medalist of the 2016 Rio Olympics, is back in competition after undergoing shoulder and biceps surgery. The 28-year-old Puerto Rican has only played four games since her first major surgery in 2019.

Elsewhere, American Jessica Pegula, seeded 12th in the tournament, ousted Italy’s Camila Giorgi 7-5, 2-6, 7-5. Madison Keys lost 7-6 (8), 3-6, 4-6 to fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece.

In addition, seventh seed Garbine Muguruza, one of the crowd favorites in the Spanish capital, lost 7-5, 6-2 to Ajla Tomljanovic, while Marta Kostyuk defeated Clara Tauson 6-3, 6-2.

The favourite, Iga Swiatek, withdrew from the tournament on Wednesday due to a bruise to the arm.

The first round of the main men’s tournament starts next week. Among the players are Spaniard Rafael Nadal and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

Osaka starts its clay season well

Japan’s Naomi Osaka brilliantly won her first clay game of the season in the first round, beating Russia’s Anastasia Potapova (6-3, 6-1).

“I wouldn’t say it was an easy game, I feel like I just adapted a little bit. It’s really good to play on clay again,” said the former world number one, who made it in the last year. next round against Sara Sorribes (57th in the world).The Spaniard caused a furore in front of his own audience by eliminating Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, last year’s finalist at Roland-Garros, in three sets 6-3, 2-6, 6 -3.

Osaka, who took advantage of an invitation to play on clay at Caja Magica, needed just 61 minutes to get rid of Potapova, who nevertheless managed to achieve nine consecutive successes on clay, including the title in Istanbul last week.

The 24-year-old Japanese, who returned to 36th in the world rankings after a psychologically grueling 2021 drop to 77th, still has not won a clay-court title and has never made it through the 3rd round at Roland-Garros, in five appearances. .

To finally succeed on this particular surface, the player said on Wednesday that she was inspired by certain methods of Rafael Nadal. “I think I stole one of his methods that he uses and recently applied it to training,” said Osaka, who spent several days preparing for the ocher surface on Rafa’s land in Mallorca.

Osaka made her comeback by reaching the WTA 1000 final in Miami in early April, where she lost to world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.

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