French Open: Leylah Fernandez pips Belinda Bencic; Coco Gauff passes Kaia Kanepi test

Amanda Anisimova had quite a 3R battle against Karolina Muchova before it ended in anti-climactically

by Abbey Johnson
French Open: Leylah Fernandez pips Belinda Bencic; Coco Gauff passes Kaia Kanepi test

Leylah Fernandez advanced to the fourth round of the 2022 French Open on Friday with a 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 win over Belinda Bencic in their third-round match. The Canadian, seeded 17th needed two hours and 49 minutes to oust her 14th-seeded opponent.

At the start of the match, it was Fernandez who took the lead in the match breaking Bencic right away to go up 2-0. However, she was pegged back soon after and it was then Bencic’s turn to go up a break, with a chance to even serve out the set in the 10th game.

The Swiss had two set points as well but wasn’t able to convert either of those and Fernandez got back into the proceedings. In the 11th game, it was Bencic’s turn to lose her serve for the third time and this time around, on her chance to serve out the set, Fernandez didn’t waste any opportunity and made good of the first set point she had.

The second set swung Bencic’s way and there wasn’t much that Fernandez was able to do. The deciding set saw both players trade breaks at its start before settling into a slow rhythm. Fernandez broke in the seventh game and followed it up with a consolidation that put her a game away from victory.

In the 10th game, serving for the match, it was the Canadian’s turn to falter and she handed the break back to Bencic. The latter wasn’t able to make much of it though and conceded her serve one last time which gave Fernandez the chance to serve for the match the second time.

The second time of asking, Fernandez didn’t succumb to pressure and got the job done.

French Open: Coco Gauff makes her way into pre-quarters

Bencic outhit Fernandez in terms of winners – 42 to the latter’s 34 but was undone by her errors, especially forced errors.

She finished the match with 60 forced errors to Fernandez’s 45 and 18 unforced errors to the latter’s 22. In the fourth round, Fernandez will play 27th seed, Amanda Anisimova. The American survived the opening set surge from Karolina Muchova, who was later forced to quit her match midway after having twisted it at the start of the second set.

Anisimova was leading the Czech 6-7(5), 6-2, 3-0 at the time. Meanwhile, another American, the 18th-seeded Coco Gauff also advanced to the round-of-16. Gauff outplayed the tricky Kaia Kanepi, 6-3, 6-4 in a rollercoaster encounter in an hour and 23 minutes.

She will play either Varvara Gracheva or the 31st seed Elise Mertens next. Lastly, Martina Trevisan was also among those who moved into the fourth round at the French Open. The Italian ousted Australian wildcard, Daria Saville, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 27 minutes. She awaits either 21st seed Angelique Kerber or Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Belinda Bencic Kaia Kanepi Amanda Anisimova