July 12, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

After a tough loss in singles, Leylah Fernandez looks to doubles in Miami

MIAMI, Fla. – The loss to No. 9 seed Belinda Bencic was swift, harsh and brutal. No doubt about it.

It went 6-1, 6-1 in a hurry and with it went Leylah Fernandez’s aspirations at this year’s Miami Open.

Fernandez took a bit of time to compose herself before coming out for an interview. And even then, you could see that it was still sitting there in the pit of her stomach. Just take a look at that downcast face, and you remember how young she still is.

Here’s what she said afterwards (French, with English subtitles).

There were rare signs of frustration on court, as the errors mounted up. On the other side, Bencic was just doing her thing – hitting hard and flat and, most crucially, very deep. And hardly missing.

Fernandez was on the back foot the entire time, trying to find solutions and ending up going for too much.

Still in the dubs

On the plus side, if the biggest trophy is out of the question, there’s always another trophy to vie for at a tennis tournament.

And Fernandez and Taylor Townsend, an intriguing lefty combination, are back out there on Monday.

In the first round, they took care of former No. 1s Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic, despite almost blowing a big second-set lead.

They will meet No. 7 seeds Beatriz Haddad Maia and Giuliana Olmos for a spot in the third round.

(Ironically, Haddad Maia was originally entered with Bencic in the doubles in Miami, but they didn’t make the starting grid).

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