While Emma Raducanu couldn't seal the win in her opener at the Qatar Open, the other half of the 2021 US Open final could as Leylah Fernandez dumped out Liudmila Samsonova emphatically 7-5, 7-6(4) and in doing so defeated last week's semi-finalist in Abu Dhabi who has been ultra consistent at times on the tour.
Samsonova was eventually defeated by Elena Rybakina in three sets and it seems that the quick turnaround blighted the Russian and helped the Canadian. She failed to find the same tennis as Fernandez shone on her serve and at pressure points.
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Fernandez opened with an early break, but failed to hold onto it as neither was consistent on either serve to start the tie. Neither was able to jump out in front with Fernandez taken a break in the dying embers of the set to make it 7-5 and take the set.
Samsonova couldn't find another gear in the second and Fernandez piled up the pressure and despite it being close again, the Canadian won in the fine margins in a game that could've easily and potentially would've escaped her before. The Russian tried to get back into the contest but an early break proved pivotal. Barring in the last gasp efforts of the tie as Fernandez was broken. But she stayed resolute and in the tie-break, she edged it. Next up is Paula Badosa who overcame a rain delay returning the next day to ease through.