Gabriel Diallo makes it three trophies for Canadians with ATP Challenger title in
[TORONTO, ON] October 15, 2023 – Leylah Annie Fernandez claimed her third-career WTA title on Sunday after beating Katerina Siniakova 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the 250-level Hong Kong Open.
Gabriela Dabrowski and partner Erin Routliffe clinched their second doubles title of the year, winning the WTA 500 Zhengzhou Open with a 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara.
Fernandez’s victory was her first since March 2022 and she was playing in her first final since winning in Monterrey 19-months ago.
Early on, it was her veteran opponent who applied the pressure. But, after dropping the opening set, Fernandez quickly turned the match around before surviving a wild finish to claim the title. It is the third title of Fernandez’s career overall and her first outside of Monterrey. The WTA 250 Hong Kong final was her first singles final outside of North America.
Siniakova won one more point in the match and had 18 break opportunities to the Canadian’s 14, but Fernandez stood strong, putting a high number of first serves in play as she had all week to keep her Czech opponent at bay.
The first set went the way of Siniakova as the 27-year-old applied constant pressure to the young Canadian’s serve and was rewarded with two breaks. But Fernandez never goes away quietly and came out in the second set refusing to miss.
Stellar defence from the Canadian was rewarded by a stream of errors off Siniakova’s racquet. She broke serve twice to take a 4-0 lead which was enough to send the match to a deciding set, although she did surrender one break and had to save six break points in the eighth game.
With one set left to decide the match, the Canadian dug in and got off to another quick start with a break in the opening game and had triple break point for a 3-0 lead. But it was Siniakova’s turn to hold firm, upping the power to save those break points and stay within a break.
A wild sequence in the middle of the deciding set saw four consecutive breaks of serve as Siniakova kept reeling Fernandez in at 3-3 and 4-4, only for the Canadian to pull away again. The run of breaks ended at the perfect moment for the Canadian, who managed to serve out the match in the 10th game, converting her second match point by drawing another error.
With the win, Fernandez is expected to climb back into the Top 50 of the WTA Rankings.
Dabrowski and Routliffe win in Zhengzhou
Since August, Dabrowski and Routliffe have been in exceptional form and they proved that yet again this week with a title at the Zhengzhou Open. After surviving a tight semi-final, the pair were clinical in the final against Aoyama and Shibahara, dropping just 10 points on serve and saving five of six break points while breaking four times in a thrilling win.
With the victory, Dabrowski and Routliffe, who only teamed up in August but have won two titles out of three finals in just two months, will move into a qualifying place for the WTA Finals with just one more week of tournaments remaining to qualify.
Dabrowski and Routliffe, the top seeds in Zhengzhou, wasted no time in stamping their authority in the final, breaking serve in the opening game. When the Japanese tandem broke to level the set at 2-2, the US Open champions immediately broke back and added an insurance break late to take the opening set.
In the second, just a single break in the third game was enough for Dabrowski and Routliffe to take the second set and the title. And, they can clinch their spot at the WTA Finals this coming week in Nanchang.
Diallo beats De Loore in Bratislava Open final
Twenty-two-year-old Gabriel Diallo rounded out a successful Sunday for Canadians in finals as he claimed the ATP Challenger Tour Bratislava Open with a 6-0, 7-5 victory over Joris De Loore.
The biggest championship of Diallo’s professional career so far, the category 125 trophy is added to his collection of titles at the M25 East Lansing and Granby National Bank Challenger in 2022, as well as the $25,000 ITF Men’s World Tennis Tour event in his hometown of Montreal, Quebec in March of this year.