Leylah Fernandez, 21, took a moment to express gratitude to everyone associated with her after landing her first WTA title in a year and a half. On Sunday, Fernandez won her first WTA title since 2022 Monterrey after beating Katerina Siniakova 3-6 6-4 6-4 in the Hong Kong final.
Fernandez, the 2021 US Open runner-up, battled various adversity and challenges over the last year and a half. Fernandez, who entered Hong Kong ranked at No 60 in the world, is hoping this is the start of a very positive chapter for her.
"We had a very, very hard past couple of years. My family, my parents, my coach, and my performance coach stayed by my side. They motivated me to keep going and the hard work is paying off. Hopefully, we can keep going this way," Fernandez said after winning her first title since 2022 March.
Fernandez beats Siniakova for her first title of the year and a top-50 return
Fernandez didn't really get off to a great start to the Hong Kong final as Siniakova claimed breaks in the third and ninth games to routinely win the first set.
Fernandez bounced back at the start of the second set, earning back-to-back breaks for a 4-0 lead. Down by two breaks, Siniakova refused to quit as she got one break back and had six break points in the eighth game. Had Siniakova realized any of those six break points, the score would have been 4-4 in the second set.
But Fernandez managed to serve out that game for a 5-3 lead before also serving out for the second set in the 10th game. After winning the second set, Fernandez also broke Siniakova in the first game of the third set. Siniakova got the break back in the sixth game but Fernandez broke the Czech again in the seventh game.
Fernandez got broken back in the eighth game but again broke Siniakova in the ninth game for a 5-4 lead. In the 10th game, Fernandez converted her second match point to complete a three-set win over Siniakova. Fernandez is now set to play in Nanchang, where she meets Hanyu Guo in the first round.