Leylah Fernandez rallies to defeat Krejcikova at Eastbourne International

Tuesday, 25 June 2024 at 10:13
Leylah Fernandez (No. 30) defeated Barbora Krejcikova (No. 31) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to advance to the second round of the WTA 500 Eastbourne International. The 21-year-old Canadian returned to winning ways after her quarterfinal exit at the Birmingham Open, where she was defeated by Alja Tomljanovic in three sets.
The 2021 US Open runner-up avenged her previous encounter against Krejcikova at the 2021 Tokyo Open, where the Czech won comfortably 6-2, 6-4. Fernandez secured her best ranking win since the Doha Open, where she defeated Zheng Qinwen in the round of 16.

Fernandez's Dominant Start

Fernandez was superior at the start of the match, with a 75% first serve compared to just 55% for the Czech, both winning 75% of those points. However, the Canadian made the difference when Krejcikova played with her second serve, winning 80% of return points on second serve.
The Canadian secured breaks in the 3rd and 7th games, while saving the five break points Krejcikova had. Fernandez faced a 0-40 deficit while serving for the set but managed to close it out 6-2 after 38 minutes.

Krejcikova's Comeback

In the second set, Krejcikova showed a higher level, significantly improving her first serve and winning 75% of service points. Fernandez kept pace, winning 90% of first serve points.
The former world No. 13 won several service games to love but faltered in the 8th game on Krejcikova’s first break opportunity. The former French Open champion won only four return points, but all in the same game, which was enough to secure an important break and later take the set 6-3.
Leylah Fernadez at 2024 Madrid Open.

Decisive Third Set

The match was decided in the third set, where Krejcikova secured an early break and quickly took the lead. Fernandez elevated her game after falling behind for the first time, winning the next four games consecutively, rescuing two breaks in three opportunities.
Fernandez took a comfortable 4-1 lead while Krejcikova struggled to stay in the match. Finally, Leylah capitalized on the tension at the end of the match, closing out the victory on her third match point 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. In the second round, Fernandez will face the winner of tomorrow's match between Aslyn Krueger (No. 87) and Victoria Golubic (No. 69), both coming from the qualifiers.

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