Canadian tennis star Leylah Fernandez out of National Bank Open
Leylah Fernandez reaches for a return during her match against Beatriz Haddad Maia in Women's National Bank Open tennis action in Toronto, Wednesday, August 10, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Canada's Leylah Fernandez was eliminated from the National Bank Open following a 7-6 (4), 6-1 loss to Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia on Wednesday.
Fernandez, the 13th seed in Toronto, was playing in her first tournament following a two-month layoff to recover from a stress fracture in her right foot she sustained at the French Open.
While Fernandez showed plenty of fight in the first set, she eventually seemed to wear against the powerful attack of her increasingly confident opponent.
After an encouraging start, Fernandez gave up the first break of the match to go down 3-2 in the opening set.
Leading 5-4, Haddad Maia converted her fourth ace of the match to give her set point. But Fernandez saved to bring the score to deuce, then converted her first break point to tie the set.
Haddad Maia restored her lead in the next game, finally converting on her fourth break point chance of the game to go up 6-5.
But again, the Brazilian couldn't put the set away. A double-fault from Haddad Maia set up double break point for Fernandez, and the Canadian came out on top after a long rally to win the next point and force a tiebreak.
Haddad Maia proved too much for Fernandez in the extra session, using powerful strokes to keep the Canadian off-balance and taking a 6-3 tiebreak lead.
Fernandez saved another set point before Haddad Maia clinched it with a strong backhand to end a short rally.
Haddad Maia built on that momentum in the second set, converting an early break en route to a 3-0 lead.
Her second break of the set put Haddad Maia up 5-1, then she served to love in the final game to take the match.
Haddad Maia will next face world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who cruised into the third round with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Australian qualifier Ajla Tomljanovic.
Swiatek increased her hardcourt winning streak to 20 matches with a clinical performance, defeating Tomljanovic in just one hour four minutes.
'The Polish star converted six of her nine break point chances as she connected on 26 of 37 return points (70.3 per cent).
In other early results, 10th seed Coco Gauff of the United States beat Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina 6-4, 6-7 (8), 7-6 (3). Defending champion Camila Giorgi of Italy downed Belgium's Elise Mertens 6-3, 7-5. And seventh seed Jessica Pegula downed fellow American Asia Muhammad 6-2, 7-5.
Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., the final Canadian left in the singles draw, was scheduled to face Alize Cornet of France in the final match on Centre Court. Andreescu won the tournament in 2019 when Serena Williams retired in the final match.
Williams was set to face Switzerland's Belinda Bencic to kick the Centre Court evening session. Williams, a winner of 23 Grand Slams, is playing in Toronto a final time before retiring sometime after the U.S. Open.
- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2022.