PARIS – US Open finalist Lelah Fernandez advanced to the quarterfinals of the French Open for the first time on Sunday, defeating American 26th seed Amanda Anisimova 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
The Canadian left-hander made the only other time in the second week of the Grand Slam when he reached the final at Flushing Meadows in 2021, when he lost to fellow teenager Emma Radukanur.
“Today was a very complicated game and I am glad I was able to cross,” he said in an interview in French court.
“I knew he would dismiss a lot of winners and I had to accept that and not be discouraged. I was very keen to play here. I’m glad I, my dad, got paid for all the hard work we did. “
On a cloudy and cold morning at Court Philippe Chatterjee, 19-year-old Fernandez put pressure on the Anisimover Survey from the start and quickly combined to lead 4-0 with a skillful drop shot mixed with crushed forehand.
The 20-year-old Anisimova, known for her simple strength behind her groundstroke, was able to return two service breaks 3-5 but could not stop Fernandez from taking the opener.
Three years ago, Anisimova, the 27th pick this year, became the youngest American to reach the Roland Garros semifinals since Jennifer Capriati in 1990.
After a quick bathroom break, Anisimova became more focused, regained some control with her powerful groundstroke, and more often went into the net to break her opponent’s delivery twice to win the second set.
In Fernandez’s first service game, Anisimova had two breakpoints, but the Canadian gave up an ace and then hit to hold three crashing winners.
Fernandez took a significant break in the fifth game to advance in the riveting competition as the American made clear his frustration after extending his racket and sending a forehand.
The Canadian again converted the ninth break, his second matchpoint when Anisimova returned it could not cross the net.
Fernandez will face world number 59 Martina Travisan of Italy, who defeated 47th-ranked Aliakasandra Sasnovic of Belarus 7-6 (10) 7-5 to advance to the semifinals.
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