Leylah Fernandez advances to fourth round in Indian Wells

Published October 11, 2021, 2:41 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Leylah Fernandez (AFP)

Leylah Fernandez continued her giant-slaying ways at the Indian Wells Sunday (Monday in Manila) after surviving Russian ninth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

The Canadian teen sensation, who is of Filipino descent, needed an extra set after an opening-frame hiccup to reach the fourth round of this Masters tournament.

Fernandez, seeded 23rd, held her serve to take a 4-2 lead in the third set and maintained the composure to prevail after two hours and 41 minutes.

Her victory set up a meeting with American Shelby Rogers, who crushed Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-0, 6-2.

Fernandez had an opening-round bye before sweeping French veteran Alize Cornet, 6-2, 6-3.

The 19-year-old hopes to continue her impressive run after reaching the finals of the US Open last month.

This would be the second time that Rogers and Fernandez are meeting. They last faced in the 2020 Lexington event where Rogers won, 6-2, 7-5, in their Round-of-16 affair.

Fernandez, however, boasts of a No. 28 ranking compared to Rogers’ No. 44.

Meanwhile, the Canadian also hopes to make heads turn in the doubles with American Coco Gauff after advancing to the quarterfinals at the expense of fifth seed Nicole Melichar-Martinez of the United States and Netherlands’ Demi Schuurs, 6-3, 6-2.

The unseeded Fernandez and Gauff opened their campaign with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Begu and Czech Republic’s Renata Voracova.

They await the winner between second seed Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipe and Belgium’s Elise Mertens, and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Polish Iga Swiatek.