Canada’s Leylah Fernandez defeated Amanda Anisimova of US 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the fourth-round clash to reach the quarterfinal of the French Open, here on Sunday.
The US Open finalist Fernandez will next meet Martina Trevisan, who squeaked past Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6(10), 7-5 in 1 hour and 59 minutes to extend her winning streak to nine matches.
Having previously made the last eight as a qualifier in 2020, Trevisan became the third Italian in the Open Era to reach two or more Roland Garros quarterfinals following Francesca Schiavone and Sara Errani.
Fernandez, the 2019 junior champion, enjoyed a lightning start, dictating play with whipped backhand winners and judicious net play to leap out to a 4-0 lead. But double faults began to creep into the 19-year-old’s game as Anisimova settled.
It was too late to turn the first set around, but Fernandez dropping serve twice before requiring five set points to serve it out indicated that momentum had begun to shift.
Anisimova underlined that by seizing control of the second set with stellar first-strike play. The 20-year-old had tallied seven winners in the first set, and a sequence of sweetly-struck backhands helped to raise that number to 18 in the second. Anisimova excelled off both wings, though: it was a forehand down the line that garnered her the key break for 3-1.
As in the first set, the seeds of a momentum change were planted as the player with the lead tried to close it out. A crowd-pleasing pickup from Fernandez followed by a winner off an attempted dropshot prevented Anisimova from serving the set out and though Anisimova rose to the occasion to break Fernandez in the next game, the dynamic had shifted again.
Fernandez’s serving had started well, and got better and better as the match went on. She landed 73 per cent of her first serves in the first set, 80 per cent in the second, and an impressive 86 per cent in the decider. Quality deliveries helped her escape triple break point in the second game of the third set, and she would not be pressured on serve again as Anisimova was unable to get any consistent hold of her returns.