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Canada's Fernandez through to Hong Kong Open final with win over Blinkova

Leylah Annie Fernandez Leylah Annie Fernandez - The Canadian Press

HONG KONG — Leylah Fernandez advanced to her first final in 19 months after a 6-2, 7-5 victory over fifth-seeded Anna Blinkova on Saturday at the Hong Kong Open.

The 21-year-old from Laval, Que., raced through the first set before No. 37 Blinkova improved in the second set.

The Canadian found the match-clinching break in the 12th game to seal the match in 78 minutes and advance to Sunday's final against Katerina Siniakova.

“This match was extremely tough,” Fernandez said. “Anna, she’s a tremendous player, very powerful, and she’s coming in with a lot of confidence. The first set I played well, the second set she started making more balls and being very aggressive.

"I just tried to stay calm. I remembered my coach’s words to me: this is a battle, just enjoy it, have fun and put on a show for everyone.”

Fernandez, who entered the tournament ranked 60th in the world, will look for her third WTA title when she plays in the fifth final of her career.

The last one came in March 2022, when she defended her title at Monterrey.

In the other semifinal, Siniakova eased past sixth-seeded Martina Trevisan 6-4, 6-2. Siniakova has four career titles, the most recent coming in July at Hamburg.

Fernandez beat Sinaikova in straight sets at the 2022 French Open in their only previous meeting.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2023.