Rising Canadian star Leylah Fernandez was “very happy” with her first performance at the Indian Wells Masters.
Fernandez, seeded at No. 23, had a first round bye in Indian Wells.
On Friday, Fernandez kicked off her Indian Wells campaign in style as she saw off former world No. 11 Alize Cornet 6-2 6-3.
It was Fernandez’s first win since she ended runner-up to Emma Raducanu in the US Open final.
Fernandez will be fighting Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the Indian Wells third round.
“I’m very happy with the way I played. I trained very hard after that final, just wanting to be back here in my first Indian Wells,” Fernandez said in her post-match on-court interview, per CBC.
Fernandez spoke highly of Cornet
Cornet, 31, is one of the more experienced players on the Tour but 19-year-old Fernandez handled her well.
“Yes, that gives me a lot of confidence for the future because Alize is a very difficult opponent, who fights on every point. She is very experienced. She has a lot of victories under her belt. She knows how to play in these conditions. I am very happy to have been able to play my game, to execute the game plan,” Fernandez said after her win, per We Love Tennis.
Fernandez made the best possible started to the match, having claimed back-to-back breaks to take an early 5-0 lead.
Fernandez was on the verge of bageling Cornet in the first set but the former world No. 11 saved three set points in the sixth game to get on the board.
Cornet then got one break back in the seventh game but lost her serve for the third time in the eighth game as Fernandez won the opener.
After easily losing the first set, Cornet broke Fernandez in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead.
However, Cornet’s lead was short-lived as Fernandez claimed breaks in the fourth and eighth game to overturn the deficit and book a straight-set win.