Tennis

Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez wins easily in 1st-round match at Grampians Trophy

Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez won her first-round match at Grampians Trophy against former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens. The 18-year-old will face fifth-ranked Maria Sakkari in the next round.

18-year-old to face world no.5 Maria Sakkari in the 2nd round

Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez won her first-round matchup against former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in two sets at the Grampians Trophy event. (File photo from Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images)

Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez beat 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-1 in the first round of the Grampians Trophy on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old Fernandez, from Laval, Que., won 70.6 per cent of her points when she got her first serve in, well above the American's 44.4 per-cent mark.

Fernandez, ranked 89th in the world, saved five of seven break points against the world No. 40.

The Canadian will face No. 5 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece in the second round of the Australian Open tune-up.

WATCH | Fernandez gets past Stephens with ease:

Leylah Annie Fernandez continues dominant run against Sloane Stephens

Sports

3 months ago
2:16
Leylah Annie-Fernandez of Laval, Que., remained undefeated in three matches against 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens with a 6-3, 6-1 victory in the first round of the Grampians Trophy. 2:16

More Canadian action

Meanwhile, Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski was ousted in straight sets by Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine

The 18-year-old Kostyuk, No. 78 in the world rankings, took the first-round matchup in Melbourne 6-0, 6-3 in just 57 minutes.

The 28-year-old Dabrowski, No. 493 in the world, was competing in a rare women's singles match tournament for players coming out of hard quarantine following COVID-19 exposure on charter flights to Australia.

She last played a singles event Sept. 14 in Rome, falling in qualifying at the Italian Open.

Dabrowski — No. 10 in the world doubles rankings — has nine doubles titles in her career, including the 2018 Australian Open mixed crown alongside Mate Pavic of Croatia.

Top Canadian Bianca Andreescu was expected to return to the court at this week's tournament, but withdrew on Tuesday and will instead return to action at the Australian Open.

The Australian Open is scheduled to start Feb. 8.

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