When she appeared on the court in her first singles match since the US Open final, Leila Fernandez was thinking about the speech her father and grandfather often repeated to her.
“My grandfather and father always said to me, ‘It doesn’t matter what you know, people older than you, who have been through these situations, know more than you,'” Quebec said at a press conference. , Saturday.
So there is no doubt that Layla underestimates the player who stood in front of her in this first game at Indian Wells.
Because even if Alizee Cornet is now 64th on the WTA, the Frenchwoman is in the former top 15, who, at her height of 31, had far more WTA experience than Lila.
The 19-year-old, ranked 23rd in the California desert, appeared in court with the grit that marked her in two weeks in New York.
Five games in a row
This soon reflected in his playing style, in the first set Fernandez won five games in a row and lost only six points in that series.
Cornet – who was constricted by leg injuries – returned to the match towards the end of the first set, winning two games in a row.
But she never managed to upset the 28th in the world, who finally won 6-2 6-3 in this second round encounter.
“I know Alizee well. I followed her around the ring, I trained with her. Forte Laval noticed that she fights on every point. We had some very tough matches in training.”
Avoid the trap
Hours before Fernandez’s victory, British opponent Emma Radocano (17) lost 6-2 6-4 to Belarusian Aleksandra Sasnovich, the 100th WTA racket.
Fernandez predicted it before the tournament: This first game – Quebec had a pass for the first round – could look like a trap for the two stars of the last major tournament.
Under their new status, they are now expected by their competitors.
“I still have a lot to learn,” Fernandez agreed. All the players I’m up against are still more experienced than me. They played more games than me. ”
If Lila can avoid suffering the same fate as Raducanu, she will face an even greater test on Sunday.
Her third-round opponent will be Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 30-year-old Indian Wells ninth seed.
This will be the first professional encounter between the players.
“She is a player with a lot of experience, she reached the final at Roland Garros, and she raised this young athlete. She is a great player and a good personality off the field. It will be a battle.”
► Quebecer Félix Auger-Aliassime will debut on Sunday in Indian Wells. The seventh seed will face Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas.
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