Canada's Leylah Fernandez posts victory in first match since U.S. Open

Leylah Fernandez returns shot to Alize Cornet, or France, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Friday Oct. 8, 2021, in Indian Wells, Calif. (Mark J. Terrill/AP Photo)

Canada's Leylah Fernandez has won her first singles match since reaching the U.S. Open final.

The No. 23 seed rolled to a 6-2, 6-3 win over France's Alize Cornet in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday night in Indian Wells, Calif.

Fernandez, from Laval, Que., hadn't played since falling to Emma Raducanu of Great Britain in the championship match of the final Grand Slam of the season last month.

The 19-year-old Fernandez didn't show any signs of rust, racing out to a 5-0 lead against Cornet. The Canadian converted 5 of 9 break points and hit 71% of her second serves.

Fernandez, who got a first-round bye, will next face No. 9 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.

Raducanu, also playing for the first time since the U.S. Open, lost 6-2, 6-4 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus on Friday.

The loss ended a 10-match winning streak. Raducanu received a wild-card into the combined ATP and WTA tournament in the Southern California desert.

It was Raducanu's fifth Tour-level event since making her WTA Tour debut in June.

``I'm kind of glad that what happened today happened so I can learn and take it as a lesson so going forward I'll just have more experience banked,'' she said.

No. 16 seed Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., opens play Saturday with a second-round match against American Alison Riske. Andreescu won this tournament the last time it was held in 2019. The event was cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the men's side, No. 9 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., faces Vasek Pospisil of Vancouer in a second-round match on Saturday.

-- With files from The Associated Press

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