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Canada’s Leylah Annie Fernandez advances to 3rd round of U.S. Open, will face Osaka

Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez advances to 3rd round of U.S. Open, will face Osaka

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Canada’s Leylah Fernandez moved on to the third round of women’s singles competition at the U.S. Open with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi on Wednesday.

The closely contested match came down in part to Fernandez’s better defence of break points.

Fernandez, from Laval, Que., was broken once on eight break-point chances. The Canadian converted three of nine chances against Kanepi.

Kanepi didn’t help her cause with 50 unforced errors, compared to the 36 committed by Fernandez.

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WATCH | Fernandez battles from behind to defeat Kanepi:

Fernandez battles her way into U.S. Open 3rd round

Laval’s Leylah Annie Fernandez came from behind in the second set to beat Estonian Kaia Kanepi 7-5, 7-5 on a rainy day in New York. 1:56

Both players made their serves count, with Fernandez winning 80 per cent of first-serve points, compared to 78 per cent for Kanepi.

Fernandez will next face third seed Naomi Osaka of Japan. It will be Fernandez’s first time facing the defending U.S. Open champion.

Later Wednesday, Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime faced Spain’s Bernabe Zapata Miralles in a men’s second-round match.

Osaka advances after opponent withdraws

Defending champion Naomi Osaka returned to the third round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday when her opponent withdrew because of illness.

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Osaka had been scheduled to face Olga Danilovic of Serbia in the first match of the day at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Osaka would have been going for her 17th straight victory in a Grand Slam match. After missing Wimbledon during a mental health break, she returned to the majors with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Marie Bouzkova on Monday night.

The two-time U.S. Open champion hasn’t lost a Grand Slam match since Coco Gauff beat her at the 2020 Australian Open.

The 17-year-old Gauff was set for one of the featured matches of the day, facing 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens under the lights at Ashe.

No. 2 Medvedev takes down Koepfer

Daniil Medvedev eased into the third round of the U.S. Open with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Dominik Koepfer.

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The No. 2 seed and 2019 runner-up broke Koepfer’s serve seven times and moved on to play Pablo Andujar of Spain in the next round.

Fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev also advanced but 15th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, a semifinalist in the 2019 U.S. Open, retired after losing two tiebreakers and trailing 4-0 in the third set against Alexei Popyrin.

Halep cruises past Kucova

Simona Halep is into the third round of the U.S. Open for the first time since 2016.

The No. 12 seed rolled to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Kristina Kucova at Arthur Ashe Stadium, where their match was moved after Naomi Osaka’s opponent withdrew from their scheduled match.

Halep has won two Grand Slam titles but struggled at the U.S. Open. She lost in the first round in consecutive appearances in 2017 and 2018 and hadn’t gone past the second round since reaching the quarter-finals in 2016.

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She completed her victory under the closed roof while play was suspended again on the outer courts after rain returned.

Muguruza, Jabeur advance with quick victories

Garbine Muguruza and Ons Jabeur had quick victories to reach the third round of the U.S. Open.

The ninth-seeded Muguruza, a two-time Grand Slam champion, beat Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-2. She could next face No. 18 seed Victoria Azarenka, who reached her third U.S. Open final last year.

The 20th-seeded Jabeur routed Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 6-0, 6-1 in 53 minutes.

WATCH | Fernandez posts straight-sets win over Konjuh in Round 1:

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Laval’s Leylah Annie Fernandez forges ahead into U.S. Open 2nd round

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open with a 7-6(3), 6-2 win over Ana Konjuh of Croatia. 3:11

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