Leylah Fernandez rallied from a set down to defeat Katerina Siniakova 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 and win the Hong Kong Open for her first title in 19 months.
It is the third title of the 21-year-old Canadian’s career and first since winning at Monterrey in March 2022. After the win, she will also move back inside the top 50 in the rankings next week.
“We had a very, very hard past couple of years,” Fernandez, of Laval, Que., said. “My family, my parents, my coach, and my performance coach stayed by my side.”
“They motivated me to keep going and the hard work is paying off. Hopefully, we can keep going this way.”
It was a nervy start by Fernandez and No. 85-ranked Siniakova earned two breaks to claim the opening set.
Fernandez, ranked 60th, responded by building a 4-0 lead in the second before the Czech player took an off-court medical timeout and returned with her left upper leg taped.
The break appeared to help Siniakova as she worked her way back to 3-4 but Fernandez saved six break points in a 10-deuce game to hold and then took the set in her next service game.
“I knew it was a crucial game,” Fernandez said. “Katerina was playing an incredible match, hitting winners from the backhand, forehand, left, right, and centre. It was a tough game for me, especially emotionally, to control myself. At one point I just had to focus on the ball.”
After exchanging breaks through the deciding set, Fernandez made the decisive break to lead 5-4 and then held her nerve to serve out the win in 2 hours and 49 minutes.
Dabrowski, Routliffe win doubles title at Zhengzhou Open
Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and partner Erin Routliffe of New Zealand cruised to the women’s doubles title with a straight-set victory over the Japanese duo of Shuko Aoyama and Eno Shibahara at the Zhengzhou Open on Sunday.
Dabrowski and Routliffe, who claimed the U.S. Open doubles title last month, dropped just 10 points on serve and saved five of six break points while breaking four times in a 6-2, 6-4 win at the WTA 500 event.
Since teaming up in August, Dabrowski and Routliffe, who was born in Auckland but grew up in Ontario and previously represented Canada, have reached three finals, winning twice, and have moved into a qualifying place for the WTA Finals with just one more week of tournaments remaining to qualify.
The duo can clinch their spot at the WTA Finals this coming week in Nanchang.
Dabrowski has now won 15 WTA Tour doubles titles in her career, while Routliffe has won five.
Pegula wins Korea Open
Jessica Pegula beat Yuan Yue 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the Korea Open on Sunday for the fourth title of her career.
The top-seeded Pegula dropped only one set through the tournament and becomes the first American since Venus Williams in 2007 to win the title in Seoul.
“My mom is Korean and she was adopted from here so it’s really special to be able to win here,” Pegula said. “In the last few years, as my ranking has gone up, I’ve definitely felt so much more support from the fans, a lot more than I expected coming back here from five years ago. So it’s really special.”
Playing in her first career final, 128th-ranked Yuan showed no signs of nerves and earned a break point in Pegula’s opening service game, which the American saved with a forehand winner.
The world No. 4-ranked player then won eight consecutive games to take the first set and build a 3-0 lead in the second as a quick victory looked likely.
Yuan then rallied to get back to 4-3 but Pegula’s power from the baseline propelled her to her first title since Montreal earlier this year and her first outside of North America.