Monterrey | Defending champ Fernandez makes Mexican final against Osorio

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Canada’s Leyland Fernandez, the defending Mexican Open champion and No 2 seed, made it into the final of Abierto GNP Seguros WTA 250 tournament in Monterrey on Saturday with a straight sets win over Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia, where she will meet Camila Osorio, the 5th seed from Colombia, who got past Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz, Spain’s 6th seed, also in straight sets.

“I just enjoy playing tennis in front of fans who love the sport as much as I do,” Fernandez said after the match. “They cheer me on, they cheer my opponents on, in tough moments, the energy on court is so positive.

“I can’t complain at all when I’m in Mexico. My time here has always been amazing, I’ve always had fun, I have fond memories.

“I can’t wait to play more matches here in Mexico, hopefully over the next couple of years.”

Fernandez kept her title defence on track, defeating Haddad Maia, 6-1 6-4, in commanding fashion in the semi-final, and taking just an hour and 12 minutes to advance.

The 19-year-old needed only 22 minutes to take the first set, starting strongly and winning the first 9 points of the match.

The Canadian did not face a break point in the opener, matching 5 winners to her 5 unforced errors, while Haddad Maia’s 4 winners were overwhelmed by her 14 unforced errors.

The Brazilian kept the second set closer, earning her only break point of the day at 1-0 before Fernandez held serve.

In the end, though, Fernandez fired a rally forehand winner to break for a 2-1 lead, which proved to be crucial as the Canadian teenager held on from there, using her lefty forehand to power through the rest of the match without mishap.

Fernandez, who fired 3 aces in the process and broke her opponent 3 times, has now won her last 9 matches in Monterrey, and is 11-1 overall at the Abierto GNP Seguros.

The World No 21 is also up to an undefeated 4-0 in tour-level semi-finals in her career, as she seeks to claim her 2nd WTA Tour singles title.

Fernandez excels on Mexican soil, where she has reached 3 of her 4 finals.

Along with her Monterrey runs, Fernandez finished as runner-up to Heather Watson at 2020 Acapulco and her other final, of course, was her break-through run to the US Open final last year.


Camila Osorio got past Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the Monterrey semi-finals

© Gonzalo Gonzalez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Her next opponent, Osorio, moved into her 3rd career WTA Tour singles final, all of which have come in the last 12 months, after beating Parrizas Diaz, 6-4 6-4, to reach Sunday’s championship match.

The Colombian prevailed in an hour and 29 minutes and is a win away from her 2nd career title, to go alongside her triumph on home soil in Bogota last year.

Osorio was coming off of a difficult late-night win over top seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the quarter-finals, but she was unbothered as she improved to 2-0 against Parrizas Diaz, who was playing in her first tour-level semi-final.

Currently ranked at a career-high 44, the 20-year-old is projected to hit a new peak ranking inside the Top 40 on Monday.

Parrizas Diaz, ranked 51, is also projected to hit a new career-high ranking next week inside the Top 45 after posting her career-best tour-level result at the age of 30.

After getting broken in the opening game, Osorio steered her way back into the first set, and she grabbed the one-set lead by converting her 6th break point of a protracted 5-4 game.

They each struck 11 winners apiece in the first set, but Parrizas Diaz had 4 more unforced errors than Osorio.

The first 4 games of the second went against serve, but the Colombian moved ahead by a break for the first time after solid returning gave her a 5-3 lead.

Osorio was unable to serve out the match as Parrizas Diaz pulled back on serve at 5-4, but the Colombian clinched the victory with another break, using her deft drop-shot skills to set up a winning pass on match point.

This will be the first professional meeting between Osorio and Fernandez, although they met 3 times as juniors, each time deep in junior Grand Slam events, with the Canadian winning at junior Roland Garros in 2018 and 2019, while Osorio notched a win at the 2018 junior US Open.


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