Rome tournament | Leylah Fernandez loses in first round

(Rome) Leylah Annie Fernandez lost 6-4, 6-1 to Ana Bogdan in the first round of the Rome Tennis Open on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old Quebecer bowed to the Romanian after an hour and 42 minutes of play on Roman clay. It was the first career duel between Fernandez, 34e in the world, and Bogdan, 63e.

Fernandez had two aces against her rival, but she also made three double faults. In addition, she was much less opportunistic than Bogdan in a break situation – she converted only one of her six opportunities, while Bogdan was 5-for-8.

Bogdan will face the sixth seed of the tournament, the Czech Marketa Vondrousova, in the next round. The reigning Wimbledon champion earned a bye into the second round.

At the end of the program, Kazakh Yulia Putintseva defeated Italian Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-4. She will meet in the second round with the 31e top seed of the tournament, the American Sloane Stephens.

Earlier Tuesday, Paula Badosa reminded everyone that she was once in the world’s top five by defeating Russian teenager Mirra Andreeva 6-2, 6-3 in the first round.


Paula Badosa

Badosa climbed as high as No. 2 in the world before missing the second half of last campaign with a back injury, which has also affected her this season. It is now at 126e step.

The Spaniard quickly took control 5-1 in the first set, before a 45-minute interruption caused by rain broke her rhythm. It still continued its momentum during the resumption of hostilities against the 40e world racket, who was voted the WTA Tour’s rookie par excellence in 2023.

Badosa reached the quarter-finals in Rome last year, in what would become her penultimate tournament of the campaign.

It was Badosa’s first victory since defeating Simona Halep at the Miami Open last month, as the Romanian played her first match after being suspended for doping. This triumph also ended a streak of six defeats against players in the world’s top 40 – a drought which dates back to Rome last year.

Elsewhere, Shelby Rogers beat Italian guest Lisa Pigato 6-1, 6-0 on the clay of Foro Italico.

The men’s tournament will begin on Wednesday. The Serbian Novak Djokovic will be the favorite, and the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who has won this tournament 10 times in his career, has confirmed his participation. Local favorite Jannik Sinner and Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, however, had to withdraw due to injuries.

Quebecer Félix Auger-Aliassime, who was a finalist at the Madrid Masters last weekend, and his compatriot, Ontarian Denis Shapovalov, are also participating in the tournament in Rome.


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