CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Quebecer Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount defeated her provincial compatriot Leylah Annie Fernandez from Laval 6-4, 6-3 Thursday evening at the Credit One Bank Invitational tennis tournament in Charleston, South Carolina.

Bouchard, who was ranked 332nd on the WTA circuit before the COVID-19 pandemic, surprised observers by knocking off of the 17-year-old Fernandez, ranked 118th last March.

It was the first match of the tournament for Bouchard, and the second for Fernandez, who beat American Emma Navarro, on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Bouchard ended the duel after an hour and 58 minutes of play.

The bar will be raised Friday evening when Bouchard faces off against the 2017 US Open champion, American Sloane Stephens.

The Credit One Invitational is a promotional clay court tournament, and not part of the regular WTA circuit.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2020.