Medicine Hat News

Canadian Fernandez prevails in opener at Abu Dhabi Open


ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates

Canada’s Leylah Annie Fernandez won her opening match of the year as the women’s tennis season began on Wednesday at the Abu Dhabi Open.

The 88th-ranked Fernandez, from Laval, Que., beat No. 96 Jasmine Paolini of Italy 6-4, 6-2.

The 18-year-old Fernandez won more than 50 per cent of points on Paolini’s first serve. She converted on five of eight break points.

Fernandez will face the winner of a match between No. 11 seed Jennifer Brady of the U.S., and Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia in the second round.

Carol Zhao of Richmond Hill, Ont., lost in the second and final round of qualifying, falling 7-6 (7), 6-1 to Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.

In doubles, Toronto’s Sharon Fichman and Giuliana Olmos of Mexico beat Kaitlyn Christian and Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine 6-2, 6-4 in the first round.

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