Leylah Fernandez caps a perfect day for Canada at Flushing Meadows
NEW YORK — Canada used the opening day of the final Grand Slam of the tennis season to stage its own version of a “grand slam,” with its representatives picking up four wins in as many singles outings Monday at the States Open. -United.
Laval’s Leylah Fernandez capped Canada’s perfect day with a clear 6-3, 6-4 win over France’s Océane Dodin in 72 minutes late at the Stade Louis-Armstrong.
Fernandez, who had won over the New York crowd en route to her appearance in the women’s singles final in 2021, shone on serve. She seemed in no way bothered by a recent foot injury which has affected the quality of her game recently, nor by the fact that her match started around 90 minutes late.
Fernandez had 10 aces, double faulted only two times, hit 60 percent of his first serves and won 74 percent of the runs after slotting his first live ball.
Her only missteps on her serve were her inability to save the two break points she faced, one in each set.
However, she more than made up for it with four service breaks from eight chances, including a crucial one in the seventh game of the second set when Dodin committed a foot fault which caused one of her seven double faults.
The 14th-seeded Fernandez sealed victory on his first match point, when Dodin dispatched a return of serve from beyond the baseline.
In the second round, Fernandez will face Liudmila Samsonova of Russia.
Earlier in the day, Félix Auger-Aliassime, Bianca Andreescu and Rebecca Marino all earned their byes to the second round.
Auger-Aliassime and Andreescu in particular gave uneven performances and each lost a set along the way.
Semi-finalist last year and sixth seed in 2022, Auger-Aliassime took the measure of Swiss qualifier Alexander Ritschard, 186th player in the world, in four sets of 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6- 3, in just over three hours in the late afternoon.
Auger-Aliassime had 13 aces, but also had eight double faults. He even found himself in a precarious position on his serve more often than his opponent, when he faced 12 break points, compared to eight for Ritschard. The Montrealer, however, saved 10 of those 12 break points, and he converted four of his eight opportunities.
Auger-Aliassime needed just one break to win each of the first two sets, but Ritschard surprised him by winning the third set with a break in the fourth game.
In the fourth set, Auger-Aliassime built a comfortable 5-1 cushion, thanks to back-to-back breaks in the fourth and sixth games. The Montrealer let slip a first chance to end the duel on his serve in the seventh game, but he recovered without problem in the ninth.
In the second round, Auger-Aliassime will face Britain’s Jack Draper, who defeated Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.
As for Andreescu, a choppy performance didn’t stop her earning a 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 win over France’s Harmony Tan.
Dominant in the first set, when she won three games without conceding a single point, Andreescu complicated the task at the start of the second, yielding the first four games.
After committing only one unforced error in the first set, she totaled 15 in the second to allow Tan to tie the game and force a final set.
She regained her composure in the third set to advance to the second round, where she will face 15th-seeded Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, who crushed Croatian Ana Konjuh 6-0, 6-0, in an hour.
Later in the afternoon, Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino put on the most convincing performance of the Canadian trio, defeating Poland’s Magdalena Frech 6-2, 6-3 in 69 minutes.
Marino had two breaks of service in each of the two sets and lost serve only once, in the opening game of the second set.
In the second round, Marino will face Daria Snigur of Ukraine, who upset seventh-seeded Simona Halep of Romania in straight sets 6-2, 0-6, 6- 4.
On Tuesday, Ontario’s Denis Shapovalov will play his first-round match against Switzerland’s Marc-Andrea Huesler.