Canada’s Fernandez, U.S. associate stroll into French Open girls’s doubles remaining



Leylah Fernandez’s dream of a Grand Slam title is now inside attain.

Fernandez and American associate Taylor Townsend blew away the second-seeded Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula, 6-0, 6-4 within the French Open girls’s doubles semifinals on Friday. They subsequent face the unseeded duo of Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan and Wang Xinyu of China in Sunday’s remaining.

The ladies’s doubles title can be the primary Grand Slam victory of any type for Fernandez of Laval, Que., who gained the ladies’ junior singles championship at Roland Garros in 2019.

“It is a dream, regardless of if it is in singles, doubles or combined doubles,” Fernandez mentioned. “Everybody right here, all of the gamers participating within the event have a dream — to play and win a Grand Slam, to deliver the trophy dwelling.

“So to have the chance to play Sunday on [Court Philippe] Chatrier is thrilling, and I am unable to wait to play and share the courtroom with Taylor as soon as once more.”

Townsend was equally excited.

“I am simply actually so happy with how we have been capable of play and carry out,” she mentioned. “I advised Leylah after the match that that is what we have been constructing in direction of over the previous couple of months, simply figuring one another out to now understanding one another so properly and having the ability to play such nice, constant tennis in opposition to the [No. 2] seeds.

“And I am actually happy with how we have been capable of form of put our final consequence behind us. We misplaced to Jess and Coco within the finals in Miami and we have been capable of form of be taught from it, detach from the consequence, after which simply perceive and take what we discovered in that match and apply it into this one.”

The duo reached the Miami Open remaining in simply their second event collectively in April. Fernandez has now turned the tears of a second-round defeat in girls’s singles into cheers as she and Townsend, 27, look to win the Simonne-Mathieu Cup.

Fernandez’s father and coach, Jorge, and youthful sister, Bianca, arrived in Paris from Portugal the place Bianca was enjoying a lower-level Challenger occasion.

“I hadn’t seen them for fairly some time, so it did me a variety of good to have my household right here with me,” she mentioned.

‘Bettering with each event’

Their opponents in Sunday’s remaining are enjoying simply their second event collectively.

Hsieh, at 37 and again from an 18-month sabbatical, has 30 profession doubles titles together with the 2014 French Open. Wang, 21, is not even ranked within the prime 100 in doubles and has two minor titles to her credit score.

Fernandez believes they are often victorious.

“We’re an excellent workforce, and we’re enhancing with each event — our outcomes present it. We maintain decreasing the errors, and we talk loads,” Fernandez mentioned. “We now have a great probability to win but it surely’ll be a tricky match, as a result of our opponents additionally made the ultimate, in order that they’re enjoying properly.”

To say Townsend and Fernandez have been dominant in opposition to top-of-the-line girls’s doubles groups on the planet can be an understatement.

Townsend, particularly, was seemingly all over the place throughout the 24-minute first set. And Fernandez greater than held her personal.

Townsend additionally hit the quickest serve of her profession, clocked at 201 km/hour.

Gauff and Pegula, who reached the ultimate a yr in the past, had loads on the road. Had they gained the title, Pegula would develop into the No. 1 doubles participant on the planet for the primary time.

Singles rating to fall

As a substitute, it’s their countrywoman Townsend who might be ranked within the prime 5 in doubles for the primary time, by advantage of reaching the ultimate.

Fernandez’s singles rating will drop considerably with the up to date record on Monday, from No. 49 to about No. 94. She reached the singles quarterfinals in Paris a yr in the past and on the 52-week rolling cycle that makes up the rankings, she didn’t defend these rating factors by shedding within the second spherical.

Fernandez is already close to the highest 20 in doubles with the trouble in Paris. If she and Townsend take the title, Fernandez would stand at No. 12.

And within the all-important doubles race to the year-end finals in Shenzhen, China, Townsend and Fernandez would rocket from No. 9 to No. 2, simply 5 tournaments into their partnership.

The French Open champions will break up practically $850,000.

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