On Monday night at IGA Stadium, Montrealer Leylah Fernandez wanted to wow the home crowd in her first main draw match at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers.
Perhaps wanting to do too much, the 18-year-old got dragged down by unforced errors and wasn’t authoritative enough on her returns.
And so, No. 152 Harriet Dart of Great Britain, who survived the qualifying rounds, secured the win in two tight sets (7-5, 7-6 (4)).
Even with the pressure of playing on the big stage, Fernandez had a few good chances. She created solid breaks and served twice for the set at 5-4. Unfortunately, she just couldn’t capitalize on them and walked away empty-handed.
On Tuesday, Dart takes on current titleholder and Canadian superstar Bianca Andreescu (2).
While it was supposed to be Fernandez’s night, it actually turned out to be Rebecca Marino’s. Indeed, it’s not every day that the No.220 gets the best of the 16th seed at a WTA 1000 event.
The Canadian played a fierce game to knock out Madison Keys in two identical sets (6-3, 6-3). Though the American didn’t play her best, Rebecca’s win is very well deserved.
In the evening’s other match, Ons Jabeur of Tunisia played masterfully to dispose of Clara Burel of France (6-1, 6-3).
In doubles, Canadians Mélodie Collard and Carol Zhao, who were invited by organizers, eclipsed Beatrice Gumulya and Emily Webley-Smith to enter the second round.