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Leylah Fernandez tops Poland’s Magda Linette in 1st round of French Open

Canada’s Leylah Fernandez advanced to the second round of the French Open on Sunday, defeating Magda Linette of Poland 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, in a first-round match in Paris.

Fernandez now leads the head-to-head 2-1, having also beaten Linette in three sets in the first round of Roland-Garros back in 2020. Fernandez entered the tournament ranked 49th in the WTA rankings, while Linette was ranked 21st.

The 20-year-old from Laval, Que., overcame some difficulties with her serve, including issues with her ball toss, to secure the triumph. She committed nine double faults and only hit two aces throughout the match.

But she managed to create 13 breakpoint opportunities and converted three, including one late in the third set to give her a 5-3 lead.

In the first set, Fernandez quickly found herself trailing when Linette broke her serve in the third game and took a 2-1 lead. Fernandez responded by breaking Linette’s serve twice to take the set.

Fernandez also had a poor start to the second set, conceding the first three games en route to losing the set.

In the deciding set, Fernandez committed only one double fault and won 12 out of 15 second-serve points.

Fernandez, who reached the French Open quarterfinals last year, now awaits the winner of a match between Denmark’s Clara Tauson and Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.

Three Canadians are in action on Monday. Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime plays Italian Fabio Fognini, Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., faces American Brandon Nakashima, and Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino takes on Russia’s Diana Shnaider.

Toronto’s Bianca Andreescu is set to open her tournament on Tuesday versus Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

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