Rabat Grand Prix: Leylah Fernandez leads seeds into pre-quarters

Alycia Parks and Tatjana Maria withstood their opponents' challenge to keep themselves in contention

by Abbey Johnson
Rabat Grand Prix: Leylah Fernandez leads seeds into pre-quarters

Leylah Fernandez won her opening-round match at the Rabat Grand Prix on Tuesday. The Canadian, who’s seeded fifth this week, defeated Spain’s Angela Fita Boluda. Fernandez came through 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 25 minutes against Fita Boluda, who made it into the main draw as a lucky loser.

Fernandez won 76% of her first-serve points and converted four break points. She, however, conceded two of the three break points she faced. The 2021 US Open finalist finished the match with 61 points to her 188th-ranked opponent’s 51.

In the second round, the left-hander will play Peyton Stearns. Fourth seed Alycia Parks also made her way into the second round. The American needed an hour and 49 minutes against Anastasia Tikhonova, whom she beat 6-3, 7-6(6).

Parks won 64% of her first-serve points, 55% of her second-serve points. She also won 18 of 29 points played on return on Tikhonova’s second serve. She saved two of the six break points she faced while converting five break points of her own.

Parks’ next opponent will be Kamilla Rakhimova. Rakhimova beat local wildcard, Malak El Allami in their opener, 6-3, 6-3 in 73 minutes.

Rabat Grand Prix: Timea Babos and Cagla Buyukakcay impress

Eighth seed Tatjana Maria also made her way into the round-of-16.

The German needed three sets and two hours and 43 minutes to beat the 287th-ranked Tatiana Prozorova, 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-0. For a chance to reach the quarters, the 35-year-old will play Lucia Bronzetti. The Italian won against Rebecca Peterson 6-4, 7-6(4) in two hours and nine minutes.

Hungary’s Timea Babos made her way into the round-of-16 with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Irina Khromacheva. Babos, who qualified for the main draw, now has a victory run of 18 matches, including the three matches she’s won so far in the Moroccan tournament.

Prior to playing in Rabat, the 30-year-old clinched three consecutive ITF titles, across April and May. Babos will now clash against Sloane Stephens. Seventh seed Linda Fruhvirtova was the only seed to exit in the first round.

Turkey’s Cagla Buyukakcay ousted the Czech 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 33 minutes to reach the second round of the Rabat Grand Prix. In fact, this is the first time since 2017 that the 33-year-old’s marked a victory in the main draw of a WTA tournament. Austrian Julia Grabher will play Buyukakcay next. Grabher defeated Ysaline Bonaventure 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-2 in their opener.

Leylah Fernandez Alycia Parks Tatjana Maria