Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez wins first-round match at French Open

PARIS — It was a triumphant start to the French Open for Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez.

Fernandez, of Laval, Que., earned an emphatic 6-2, 6-1 win over Anastasia Potapova of Russia in the first round of the women’s singles draw Sunday. The Canadian needed just 59 minutes to register the decision.

Fernandez, 18, never surrendered control of the match, registering five service breaks. The 2019 French Open junior champion also won 74 per cent of her service points while Potapova committed 20 unforced errors in the contest.

Fernandez’s dominant victory came after Canadian Milos Raonic withdrew from the tournament. Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., made the decision just before the main draw for the clay-court Grand Slam started.

The Canadian has not played in the French Open since 2017.

Clay traditionally is not Raonic’s preferred surface. He did not play in any of the clay-court events leading up to the French Open this year.

The No. 17 seed was replaced in the draw by lucky loser Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina.

The withdrawal leaves three Canadians in the main singles draws — Fernandez, Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal and Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont.

Andreescu faces Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia on Monday.

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