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22-year-old American Leylah Fernandez picked up her first career title in the second round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, sending unseeded Elina Svitolina home with a four-set loss Monday night.
Quarterfinalist Svitolina broke down on court and began sobbing after serving out the third set to seal a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 defeat. Svitolina was visibly upset while walking off the court.
In the third set, Svitolina went down a break but fought back to even it up at two sets all. In the decisive set, Fernandez was able to serve out the match, claiming it on her second match point with an ace, a shot the Ukrainian couldn’t match.
Leylah Fernandez began playing tennis in 2012, after her mother noticed she was a natural-born athlete and was still playing with her little brother when she was just five years old. Fernandez soon made her way into USA Tri-Net in Chicago. She studied pre-med to play tennis during the day, and in the evenings she worked full-time at Walgreens. Despite a spotty tennis career in college, Fernandez’s dedication paid off and she’s now looking to play professional tennis.
At the end of the day, Leylah Fernandez says her hard work was the key, and now she’s ready to live her dream of making it to the next level, as a professional tennis player.
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