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Canada's Fernandez cruises to first-round win over Pera at Dubai Open

Leylah Fernandez Leylah Fernandez - The Canadian Press

DUBAI CITY, United Arab Emirates — Canada's Leylah Fernadez cruised into the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Bernarda Pera of the United States on Monday.

Fernandez converted four of her five breaks in the second set and wrapped up the match in 79 minutes to improve to 2-0 against Pera.

The 21-year-old from Laval, Que., improved her record this season to 6-3.

She entered the WTA 1000 tournament with a season-high world ranking of 33rd, a five-point jump from last week after she advanced to the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open.

Fernandez will next face world No. 26 Jasmine Paolini of Italy. Paolini advanced with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over 11th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil.

Fernandez is 3-0 against Paolini, including a singles victory in Canada's 2-0 win over Italy in the 2023 Billie Jean Cup final.

In first-round doubles action, Fernandez and partner Oksana Kalashnikova of Georgia fell 6-4, 3-6, 11-9 to Russia's Mirra Andreeva and Sofia Kenin of the U.S.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 19, 2024.