MADRID — Canadians Bianca Andreescu and Leylah Fernandez advanced to the second round of the Madrid Open with three-set wins on Friday.
Andreescu, playing in her second tournament after a months-long absence, moved on with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 win over American Alison Riske.
The 21-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., will next face sixth seed Danielle Collins of the United States. Collins advances with a win over Puerto Rican qualifier Monica Puig.
Fernandez, of Laval, Que., was victorious in her Madrid main-draw debut with a 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 win over German qualifier Andrea Petkovic.
The 19-year-old Fernandez, ranked 20th in the world, will next face Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann, who defeated three-time champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 7-5.
Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open champion, dominated the third set of her match with Riske. The Canadian won 62.1 per cent of service points and an impressive 73.7 per cent of return points in the set, while breaking Riske three times on six chances.
Andreescu entered the WTA 1000 series tournament with a world ranking of 111. She reached a career-high ranking of No. 4 in October 2019 thanks to her breakout season that saw her win prestigious events in Toronto and Indian Wells, Calif., in addition to her first Grand Slam at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Prior to returning to action earlier this month at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, Andreescu hadn’t played a match since a second-round loss to Anett Kontaveit at Indian Wells on Oct. 21.
She announced in December she was taking a break from tennis to recover physically and mentally from a “challenging” two years.
Andreescu posted on Twitter that she was affected by “multiple weeks in isolation quarantining” after contracting COVID-19, and by her grandmother’s stay for several weeks in a hospital’s intensive care unit because of the coronavirus.
Fernandez, the runner-up at the 2021 U.S. Open, won 65.4 per cent of available points in the first set and didn’t face break point. Petkovic returned the favour in the second, winning 72.7 per cent of points and breaking the Canadian twice in three chances.
Petkovic, a former world No. 9, led 2-0 in the third set before Fernandez rallied to win the first meeting between the players.
Teichmann defeated Fernandez in straight sets in their only previous meeting, which came at a Billie Jean King Cup qualifying tie in 2020.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2022.
The Canadian Press