Leylah Fernandez moves into maiden grass court final, ousts defending champion Madison Keys at Eastbourne International

Friday, 28 June 2024 at 14:58
Leylah Fernandez is one win away from a fourth career WTA title after taking down Madison Keys 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the semi-finals on Friday afternoon at the Eastbourne International on the eve of Wimbledon.
Fernandez saw off the defending champion and fourth seed Keys and is into her sixth career final and her first on a grass court. It is also her first final at WTA 500 level or higher since reaching the US Open final back in 2021.
She will now face the winner of the other semi-final between third seed Jasmine Paolini and Daria Kasatkina who will face off later on today on the south coast. Fernandez also learned her draw fate earlier today for Wimbledon. She will face Lucia Bronzetti of Italy in the first round next week.
It has not been an easy road since reaching the US Open final for Fernandez who albeit on a minimal scale compared to Raducanu has had to deal with not backing it up and hasn't been in regular form. But she will hope to now book a first title since last October when she won in Hong Kong against Katerina Siniakova.
Albeit she is unlikely to be the out and out favourite in said final despite beating Keys. Paolini is currently 4-3 up with the Italian returning for the first time since reaching the Roland Garros final. While Kasatkina saw off Emma Raducanu yesterday in a thumping win but either way, it should be a fairly evenly matched final between the pair tomorrow on the evening of Wimbledon.
Winning against Keys in just over two hours, she went 3-0 ahead in the opening set but exchanging breaks, Fernandez then went into a 5-2 lead as she was able to maintain it. It was 5-3 and she served it out. The rest of the match kind of stayed to a script with one player going out in front. Keys in the second going 3-0 up before exchanging breaks and sealing the set.
While the final set was very minimal breaks with Keys losing her serve at 2-0 being the main difference as Fernandez edged to victory.

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