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Laval's Leylah Annie Fernandez wins French Open junior singles title

Canadian teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez is off to the semifinals at the Odlum Brown VanOpen. In June, Fernandez won in girls juniors singles final against Emma Navarro of The United States during Day 14 of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros in Paris, pictured here.
Canadian teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez is off to the semifinals at the Odlum Brown VanOpen. In June, Fernandez won in girls juniors singles final against Emma Navarro of The United States during Day 14 of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros in Paris, pictured here.

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval capped a week of superb tennis when she defeated Emma Navarro of the 6-3, 6-2 Saturday to claim the junior girls title at the French Open tennis championships.

The 16 year old, who lost in the final of January’s Australian Open junior event, played flawlessly in Paris. She became the first top-seeded player to win the tournament since 2004 and didn’t lose a set or require a tiebreak as she rolled over six opponents.

In the final, Fernandez broke Navarro twice in the first set and three times in the second set.

In becoming a Junior Grand Slam champion, Fernandez follows in the footsteps of Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov — both of whom are in the the top 25 on the ATP Tour.

Fernandez has been making the transition to the women’s pro tour this year and is currently number 371 in the WTA Tour rankings. After her Australian Open appearance, she joined Canada’s Fed Cup team to face reigning champions the Czech Republic in April. The youngster held her own despite losing to Marketa Vondrousova, who was a finalist in this year’s French Open.

Fernandez is the first Canadian to claim the the junior title at the French Open. Canadian players have previously won three junior singles titles at Wimbledon —  Eugenie Bouchard (2012), Filip Peliwo (2012) and Shapovalov (2016) — and two at the US Open, where Peliwo (2012) and Auger-Aliassime (2016) were successful.

phickey@postmedia.com

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