First WTA final in 18 months for Leylah Fernandez, defeats Anna Blinkova at Hong Kong Open

Leylah Fernandez has reached her first final in 18 months. She will play for the title at the Hong Kong Open on Sunday after defeating Anna Blinkova 6-2, 7-5.

Fernandez who famously reached the final of the 2021 US Open, like Emma Raducanu has failed to replicate her success. Despite little green shoots of form, she has not been able to join the tennis elite.

She won the 2022 Monterrey Open last up against Camila Osorio, but will aim to add another title to head towards concluding the season on Sunday.

After seeing off 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva, it was another teenager in Linda Fruhvirtova before Anna Blinkova was seen off. In particular, the Canadian was superb in the opening set.

She broke her opponent's serve in the fourth game and sealed another losing only four points on her serve in just 27 minutes. Fernandez looked for a dominant conclusion going 4-1 up. But Blinkova made it interesting at 4-4.

Only for Fernandez to sprint to the finishing line and claim it 7-5 to edge through and avert a deciding set. Martina Trevisan or Katerina Siniakova now await.

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