Tennis

Leylah Fernandez defends Monterrey title

Reuters
Leylah Fernandez defends Monterrey title

CHAMPION. Leylah Fernandez digs deep to claim her second WTA title.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Leylah Fernandez saves 5 championship points as she beats Colombia's Camila Osorio in the Monterrey Open

Teenaged Canadian Leylah Fernandez said she was pleased with her fighting spirit after managing to save 5 championship points to defend her title in Monterrey against Colombia’s Camila Osorio on Sunday, March 6 (Monday, March 7, Manila time).

Playing her first title match since going down to Britain’s Emma Raducanu in the US Open final, Fernandez rallied after losing the opening set and facing a 4-1 deficit in the decider to beat Osorio, 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(3), in the WTA 250 tournament.

“Today it was a very, very tough match, not only physically or tennis-wise, but mentally,” Fernandez said. “Camila, she’s a tough player to play against. She’s very crafty, she does slices, high balls, it’s very unpredictable.”

“I’m very, very happy that I was able to find a way through my mistakes, find a way to get back in the match and then find a way to win it at the end and not get frustrated with myself. I’m very, very happy to have gone through these hard moments.”

It was the second WTA title for the 19-year-old, both coming in the Mexican city of Monterrey.

Fernandez was meeting 20-year-old Osorio for the first time in a tour-level match although the pair have faced off three times previously on the junior circuit.

The Canadian jumped to a 4-1 lead in the opener and also served for the set at 5-3 only to lose it to the 35th-ranked Osorio in the tiebreak.

Fernandez took another 4-1 lead in the second set before Osorio got a break of serve back and the Canadian found the grit to hold on to take the contest to a decider.

Fernandez’s title defence looked over when Osorio built up a 4-1 advantage in the third set, during which play was halted for about 15 minutes due to a partial power failure on court.

But the left-hander once again dug deep, saving a matchpoint in the 10th game and four more in the 12th to take the contest into a tiebreaker which she dominated.

“Camila, I hope we have many, many more finals like this, because without her, I don’t think this tournament, this final, would be (as) special,” Fernandez said. – Rappler.com