July 19, 2024

Open Court


After an early singles exit, doubles semi is the silver lining for Leylah Fernandez

MIAMI, Fla. – With every cloud, comes a silver lining. Sometimes.

And so even though Leylah Fernandez suffered a beatdown at the hands of handy No. 9 seed Belinda Bencic in the second round of the Miami Open in singles, she’s still in the house.

And there’s still another trophy to play for – even if it’s not the one she came here to win.

Fernandez and partner Taylor Townsend – a fun, energetic all-lefty duo that has delivered what it promised on paper – are into the doubles semifinals.

After defeating No. 7 seeds Beatriz Haddad Maia and Giuliana Olmos in the second round, they pulled off another upset in the quarterfinals Tuesday over No. 3 seeds Jelena Ostapenko and Lyudmyla Kichenok.

It got a bit nervy; they were up 7-2 in the match tiebreak, and eventually eked it out 10-8.

They now face another unseeded pair in the semis, in Magda Linette and Bernarda Pera.

Linette and Pera upset No. 9 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski (Fernandez’s BJK Cup teammate) and Luisa Stefani earlier in the tournament.

Here’s what it looked like from courtside.

Fernandez came into the interview with Open court almost right off the court, and you could see the excitement and adrenaline was still flowing after the victory.

(She was polite enough not to correct me when I inaccurately stated they were in the quarters, when it fact it’s the semis).

The Canadians have been vocal and numerous in their support of the pair (as they have all the Canadians in the Miami Open, as usual). Add to that the Americans for Townsend, and every win has been a super-popular one with great atmosphere.

Their doubles semi is scheduled for Thursday.

Here they are against Haddad Maia and Olmos.

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