Monterrey | Fernandez retains Mexican Open title with win over Osorio

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Canada’s Leylah Fernandez successfully defended her Abierto GNP Seguros title in Monterrey, Mexico, on Sunday after saving 5 match points and prevailing in nearly 3 hours over Camila Osorio from Colombia, 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(3).

She’s very crafty, she does slices, high balls, it’s very unpredictable. I’m very, very happy to have gone through these hard moments, and have fought, found solutions. And Camila, I hope we have many, many more finals like this, because without her, I don’t think this tournament, this final, would be [as] special. Leylah Fernandez

It was the first professional meeting between 19-year-old Fernandez and 20-year-old Osorio, but they were frequent junior rivals, squaring off 3 times in junior Grand Slam events.

“Today it was a very, very tough match, not only physically or tennis-wise, but mentally,” Fernandez said on court during the trophy ceremony. “Camila, she’s a tough player to play against.

“She’s very crafty, she does slices, high balls, it’s very unpredictable.

“I’m very, very happy to have gone through these hard moments, and have fought, found solutions.

“And Camila, I hope we have many, many more finals like this, because without her, I don’t think this tournament, this final, would be [as] special.”

Back in 2021 Fernandez won her maiden WTA Tour singles title in Monterrey without dropping a set, but this year she has been made to work hard to keep her hands on the trophy.

 

Camila Osorio had 5 match points but could not put away Leylah Fernandez in the WTA 250 final in Monterrey

© Gonzalo Gonzalez/Jam Media/Getty Images

It took her 2 hours and 52 minutes, to be exact, to come through Sunday’s final, with the opening set alone lasting a few minutes shy of an hour.

The 19-year old Canadian, seeded No 2, held the early advantage as she raced into a 3-0 lead, but Osorio got back on serve in the 9th game before edging the tiebreak.

Fernandez broke twice in the second to build a 4-1 advantage and, although the Colombian managed to get a break back, she took it into the decider, in which she broke again in the opening game.

Things got tricky, though, when Osorio won 4 games in a row to take a 4-1 lead before the 19-year-old Canadian got back herself on serve in the 7th game.

Osorio, however, looked poised to clinch only the 2nd WTA title of her career, with Fernandez on the brink of defeat, but the defending champion survived her first match point to force deuce at 5-4, then tied the match once again.

The visibly pumped up Canadian punched the air as the crowd roared.

Then came the dramatic 12th game during which Fernandez, losing 6-5, fought off 3 more match points before play was paused, on yet another match point, due to a partial power outage involving on-court screens and lights.

When play resumed, Fernandez forced deuce again and then sent the set to a deciding tiebreak, which she won 7-3 after Osorio fired a forehand wide on championship point, and the Canadian threw both arms in the air in celebration.

Fernandez has won her last 10 matches in Monterrey, after claiming last year’s title as well as this one, the second WTA title of her career, and she is now 12-1 at the Mexican event overall.

She is now 2-2 in tour-level finals, with both titles coming in Monterrey and a 3rd final also coming in Mexico, at 2020 Acapulco, while her 4th final was her breakthrough runner-up showing at the 2021 US Open.

Osorio, the World No 44, now rises to a new career-high ranking 35, while Fernandez remains at No 21 having successfully defended her points from last year in Mexico.

 

Catherine Harrison & Sabrina Santamaria won the Monterrey doubles title with a win over Han Xinyun & Yana Sizikova in the final

Americans Catherine Harrison & Sabrina Santamaria won a tight tussle of their own over Han Xinyun & Yana Sizikova from China in the Monterrey doubles final, capturing the title, 1-6 7-5 [10-6].

It was a breakthrough week for the two Americans, who each claimed a first WTA Tour doubles title.

27-year-old Harrison was in her first doubles final, while 29-year-old Santamaria had gone 0-for-4 in her previous tour-level finals.

Harrison & Santamaria were a set and a break down at 6-1, 4-3, but the eventual champions charged back from that deficit to squeak into a decisive match-tiebreak where, from 5-6 down, they won 5 straight points to claim the title after an hour and 37 minutes.

 

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