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Fernandez advances to women's doubles semifinals at Madrid Open

Leylah Fernandez Taylor Townsend Leylah Fernandez Taylor Townsend - Getty Images

MADRID — Canada's Leylah Fernandez and American partner Taylor Townsend advanced to the women's doubles semifinals at the Madrid Open with a 6-0, 7-6 (3) win over Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei and Czechia's Barbora Srtycova on Wednesday.

Fernandez, of Laval, Que., and Townsend racked up three breaks on six chances and won 63.2 per cent of return points in a dominant first set.

The North American pair overcame serving issues in the second set — they had five double-faults and were accurate on just 50 per cent of first serves — to claim the tiebreak and wrap up the match in one hour 17 minutes.

Fernandez, who entered the tournament with a career-high WTA doubles ranking of 38, is looking to win her first doubles title on the tour.

She reached the final in two earlier tournaments this year. Fernandez and Townsend were defeated in the final of the Miami Open last month by American duo Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff, and Fernandez and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands fell to Japan's Miyu Kato and Indonesia's Aldila Sutjiadi in the final of the season-opening ASB Classic in New Zealand.

Fernandez and Townsend will face Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in Friday's semifinals.

Pegula and Gauff will face Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania and Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk in the other semifinal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2023.