Leylah Fernandez battles past a beleaguered Siniaková to win the Hong Kong Open title

The Canadian overcame an injury-hampered Siniakova to win her third WTA title in Hong Kong

Leylah Fernandez, San Diego, 2023 Leylah Fernandez, San Diego, 2023 © Zuma / Panoramic
Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open •Final • completed
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Leylah Fernandez has won the Hong Kong Open title, overcoming a gritty performance from an injury-plagued Katerina Siniakova to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 at the Victoria Park Tennis Center and lift her third WTA trophy.

It is the Canadian’s first title of the season, and her first title since defending her Monterrey Open crown in March 2022.

This win also marks Fernandez’s third WTA title of her young career, and continues the impressive record she has set herself for winning a title in three consecutive years.

Siniaková endured a torrid evening in Hong Kong. A heavy fall in the third set left her visibly struggling with her movement, having started the match with both legs already heavily strapped.

Nevertheless, the Czech put in a highly commendable performance, battling valiantly right until the last ball despite the significant physical issues she was suffering with.

High-quality encounter provides a worthy finish to Hong Kong Open

It was a high-quality encounter packed full of brilliant shot-making from both players as a captivated Hong Kong crowd were treated to a thriller well worthy of the tournament’s showpiece match.

Siniaková started the match well, breaking Fernandez twice to comfortably take the first set as the Canadian took time to settle into the occasion.

The 2021 US Open finalist showed just what quality of spirit she possesses in the second stanza, however, fending off nine break points in total while converting both of her opportunities to clinch a mammoth middle set in 64 minutes.

The decider was a nail-biting tussle of physical and mental endurance, with Siniaková twice falling a break behind only to claw her way back to parity despite her hampered movement.

Fernandez battles past a spirited performance from Siniakova

The Czech’s fall came in the first game of the third and set the tone for the rest of the match. It was unclear for some time whether she would be able to continue, but after a lengthy time-out during which more strapping was added to her right thigh, Siniaková was able to battle on.

She lost her serve on the restart as a quick sprint to finish line for Fernandez looked all but certain.

Instead, what followed was a titanic struggle to get over the line, as the Czech would not allow Fernandez to pull away. With her movement diminished, Siniaková was forced into some superb first-strike shot-making that had Fernandez rattled.

Another hour-long set ensued before Siniaková’s admirable resistance finally wore out as Fernandez broke in the ninth game and then served out an excellent win.

A patchy 2023 season once again yields results for Leylah Fernandez

“I want to give a special thank you to the fans in Hong Kong… The atmosphere was amazing, so thank you so much,” the Canadian said in her on-court winner’s speech.

“I would like to congratulate Katerina, you played an amazing tournament. Today was a tough battle, and I enjoyed every moment of it.

“Thank you for making this hard for me. Hopefully we have many, many more.”

Doubles-specialist Siniakova will be disappointed to come up just short after working so hard. But it is undeniable that her tennis is in a very healthy place, and the signs are promising for a successful 2024 campaign.

For Fernandez, a patchy season has once again produced a clear indication that the hard work is indeed paying off, as the 21-year-old has another trophy to her name and ensures she finishes the 2023 season as a thoroughly deserved WTA title winner.

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