Quebec’s Fernandez advances to women’s doubles semi-finals at Madrid Open
Canada’s Leylah Fernandez and American partner Taylor Townsend advanced to the women’s doubles semi-finals at the Madrid Open with a 6-0, 7-6 (3) win over Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei and Czechia’s Barbora Srtycova on Wednesday.
Fernandez, of Laval, Que., and Townsend racked up three breaks on six chances and won 63.2 per cent of return points in a dominant first set.
The North American pair overcame serving issues in the second set – they had five double-faults and were accurate on just 50 per cent of first serves – to claim the tiebreak and wrap up the match in 1 hour 17 minutes.
Fernandez, who entered the tournament with a career-high WTA doubles ranking of 38, is looking to win her first doubles title on the tour.
She reached the final in two earlier tournaments this year. Fernandez and Townsend were defeated in the final of the Miami Open last month by American duo Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff, and Fernandez and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands fell to Japan’s Miyu Kato and Indonesia’s Aldila Sutjiadi in the final of the season-opening ASB Classic in New Zealand.
Fernandez and Townsend will face Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in Friday’s semi-finals.
Pegula and Gauff will face Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania and Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk in the other semi-final.
Meanwhile, defending champion Carlos Alcaraz overcame a tough test from Karen Khachanov on his way to the semi-finals of the Madrid Open, rallying late in the second set for a hard-fought 6-4, 7-5 win. Alcaraz will next face 17th-seeded Borna Coric, who beat lucky loser Daniel Altmaier 6-3, 6-3.
Veronika Kudermetova reached the semi-finals of a WTA 1000 event for the first time by upsetting third-seeded Jessica Pegula 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 in the women’s quarter-finals. The 12th-seeded Kudermetova sealed her victory with an ace on her second match point to set up a semi-final match against No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who beat Petra Martic 6-0, 6-3. The other women’s semi-final match will be played between second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka and ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari.
Raducanu to miss French Open, Wimbledon
Emma Raducanu will miss the French Open and Wimbledon after announcing Wednesday that she is having what she called “minor” procedures on both hands and an ankle and expects to be sidelined for “the next few months.” The 2021 U.S. Open champion, a 20-year-old from Britain, has struggled with a series of injuries, most recently pulling out of the Madrid Open because of a hand problem. Raducanu said on her social media accounts that she’s dealt with “a recurring injury on a bone of both hands” for the past 10 months. She posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed with her right wrist and hand bandaged. The French Open begins on May 28; Wimbledon begins on July 3.
– with files from The Associated Press