April 19, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

Photo Gallery: Halep and Fernandez team up in Toronto

TORONTO – Simona Halep was looking for a doubles partner to get at least a match in before starting her Rogers Cup quest.

A long break after winning Wimbledon (and, it turns out, an ongoing Achilles issue that curtailed her singles run) meant not much practice.

In the process, Halep was able to give a bucket-list moment to young Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez.

The two – who won the French Open juniors 11 years apart – went to the match tiebreak before falling to the top team of Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke.

But they had some great moments. 

Fernandez was able to turn the page on her nervous Rogers Cup stadium court single debut. The 16-year-old was able to manage only one game against qualifier Marie Bouzkova.

(It turns out that Bouzkova later mowed down three Grand Slam champions: Sloane Stephens, Jelena Ostapenko and on Friday, an injured Halep on her way to a semifinal date against Serena Williams. So Fernandez probably feels a little better about it all now).

Here’s what it looked like.

Afterwards, they had a cute press conference.

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