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Canada’s Leylah Fernandez defeats Camila Osorio to defend Monterrey Open title

Canada’s Leylah Annie Fernandez has defended her title at the Monterrey Open.

The 19-year-old from Laval, Que., beat Colombia’s Camila Osorio 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(3) Sunday to collect the tournament in Mexico for the second consecutive year.

It’s the second WTA title of Fernandez’s career.

The Canadian lost the first set in a tiebreak and battled back in the second. The lengthy back-and-forth third set, during which play was suspended 15 minutes due to a power outage at a crucial moment, saw Fernandez fight off five championship points before cruising in the tiebreak.

The match lasted two hours and 52 minutes.

There were times in the third set where it hardly looked like Fernandez could pull it off.

The fifth-ranked Osorio broke Fernandez’s serve twice to start the final set and the Colombian quickly jumped to a 4-1 lead. Fernandez broke Osorio back in the seventh game to cut her adversary’s lead to 4-3 before tying the match 4-4.

Down 5-4, Fernandez survived her first match point to force deuce, then tied the match once again. The visibly pumped up Canadian punched the air as the crowd roared.

Then came the dramatic 12th game during which Fernandez, losing 6-5, fought off three match points before play was paused — on yet another match point — due to a partial power outage involving on-court screens and lights.

When play resumed, Fernandez forced deuce again and then sent the set to a tiebreaker, which she won 7-3. On championship point, Osorio fired a forehand wide and the Canadian threw both arms in the air in celebration.

Fernandez has acquired her last 10 matches in Monterrey after claiming last year’s title as well.

The Canadian, last year’s U.S. Open finalist, broke the Colombian twice in the 44-minute second set to force a third set with the championship on the line.

Fernandez was cruising early in the first set and appeared to be in full control of the final. She won 12 of the first 16 points to lead 3-0 and later extended that lead to 5-3. Serving for the opening set, the 19-year-old was broken by Osorio. She later dropped the tiebreaker.

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