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Canada’s Leylah Annie Fernandez qualifies for Western & Southern Open

Canada’s Leylah Annie Fernandez has qualified for a WTA Tour main draw for the second time in a row.

The 17-year-old Fernandez, from Laval, Que., downed American Kristie Ahn 6-4, 6-1 in the second and final round of qualifying for the Western & Southern Open on Friday.

Fernandez will face world No. 39 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in the first round of the main draw.

Fernandez, ranked 111th in the world, also qualified for the Top Seed Open earlier this month in Kentucky, where she advanced to the second round.

On Friday, Fernandez converted on five of eight break-point opportunities. Ahn, ranked 97th, won just 40.7 per cent of her points on first serve.

The Western & Southern Open serves as a tuneup event for the U.S. Open, which starts later this month. Normally in Cincinnati, the Western & Southern Open is being held on the same site as the Grand Slam this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament has men’s and women’s draws.

Fernandez is the lone Canadian woman in the field. She’s joined by Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal, Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., and Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., on the men’s side.

All four also have spots in the U.S. Open.

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