No. 2 seed Kenin too much for Canada’s Leylah Annie Fernandez in 2nd round of U.S. Open

Canada’s Leylah Annie Fernandez lost 6-4, 6-3 to No. 2 seed Sofia Kenin of the United States in a second-round match at the U.S. Open on Thursday.

A 17-year-old left-hander from Laval, Que., Fernandez was coming off her first career Grand Slam main-draw victory as she beat world No. 178 Vera Zvonareva of Russia in straight sets on Tuesday.

Kenin, the world No. 4 and the 2020 Australian Open champion, provided much tougher opposition as the two squared off at Arthur Ashe Stadium — the biggest court on the U.S. Open grounds. No fans are in attendance at the tournament because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fernandez, ranked 104th, didn’t look overwhelmed by the moment.

After losing her serve in the third game of the first set, Fernandez held serve the rest of the set. With Kenin serving for the set, Fernandez got it to 30-30 before the powerful American unleashed two winners.

Kenin then took charge in the second set, breaking Fernandez to take a 2-1 lead before finishing off the Canadian with another service break.

Kenin dominated on Fernandez’s second serve. The Canadian won only 29 per cent of points on her second serve.

Fernandez also made seven more unforced errors than Kenin (25-18), and the American had a small edge in winners (19-17).

This is the first full year on the women’s circuit for Fernandez, who turns 18 on Sunday. She won the French Open girls title last year.

Fernandez was one of four Canadians scheduled for second-round singles action on Thursday.

No. 25 seed Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., was to face Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil in an all-Canadian clash, while No. 15 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal was slated to meet three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray of Great Britain in an evening match.

Canadians in doubles action 

Toronto’s Sharon Fichman and Croatian partner Darija Jurak lost 6-2, 7-6 (6) to No. 4 seeds Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic and Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands in a first-round women’s doubles match Thursday.

Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and American partner Alison Riske played their women’s doubles opener against Russians Natela Dzalamidze and Irina Khromacheva later Thursday.

Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., and his partner Rohan Bopanna of India faced Americans Ernesto Escobedo and Noah Rubin in a first-round men’s doubles match later Thursday.

Shapovalov, seeded 12th in men’s singles, will play his third-round match against No. 19 seed Taylor Fritz of the U.S. on Friday.

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Johny Watshon

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