Fernandez doubles up in Nanchang, extends win streak to eight

Leylah Fernandez’s resurgence continued at the Jiangxi Open as the former US Open finalist won two efficient matches in one day to reach her second consecutive semifinal.

Having had her second-round match delayed by a day due to rain, Fernandez, ranked No.43, came through it with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Chinese qualifier You Xiaodi in just 1 hour and 24 minutes. She then returned to the court four hours later to win her quarterfinal against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, with a score of 6-3, 6-4, in 1 hour and 23 minutes.

Fernandez, who recently ended a 19-month title drought by winning her third Hologic WTA Tour trophy in Hong Kong, is currently on a career-best eight-match winning streak. She previously set a record of seven consecutive wins in 2022, following her Monterrey title with a third-round run in Indian Wells.

“It was definitely a challenge, both emotionally and mentally,” said Fernandez about her double-duty schedule. “However, I have been training in extremely demanding conditions at home. My coach has pushed me mentally, emotionally, and physically to prepare me for matches and days like these.

“Both of my opponents had completely different playing styles. Xiaodi was a tough opponent to play against, especially with the home crowd support. Her game is very distinct from the women I usually face on tour. It was a difficult adjustment, but I’m glad I found solutions.

“In my previous match against Sasnovich, it went to three sets. She is an offensive, aggressive, and fast player. So I focused on being faster than her and ensuring I put more balls in play.”

Highlights: Fernandez d. You | Shnaider d. Hibino

In the semifinals, Fernandez will face Katerina Siniakova, in a rematch of the Hong Kong final. The previous encounter was a classic match that lasted 2 hours and 49 minutes, with Fernandez winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Siniakova had also been scheduled to play two matches in one day but received a walkover in the quarterfinals after Laura Siegemund withdrew due to sickness.

The top-half semifinal will feature No.4 seed Marie Bouzkova, the only seeded player remaining in the last eight, against Diana Shnaider, the youngest player left in the draw. Bouzkova delivered a flawless performance to defeat Camila Osorio 6-0, 6-4 and reach her first tour-level semifinal since Guadalajara 2022.

Similar to Fernandez, Shnaider, ranked No.72, has been performing exceptionally well in Asia over the past month. The 19-year-old left-hander reached her first WTA final in Ningbo three weeks ago and advanced to her third semifinal of 2023 after a convincing 6-0, 7-5 victory over Nao Hibino.


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