Fernandez and Marino advance to Abu Dhabi

Doha: Leylah Fernandez falters, Rebecca Marino passes

Leylah Fernandez failed to make the main draw of the Doha tournament as she was defeated in the final stages of qualifying while compatriot Rebecca Marino secured her ticket on Monday.

• Also read: Félix Auger-Aliassime slips down one place

• Also read: Doha: Fernandez and Rebecca Marino advance

The Quebecois didn’t inherit an easy course, crossing qualifying stage favorite Karolina Pliskova in her third match.

The Czech beat her in two sets 6:2 and 7:5.

Fernandez struggled in the second set after being neutralized in the first half. She offered six break points, but only used one of them.

Late in the set, the 39th slugger in the world equalized 5-5, but Pliskova won the next two points to end the duel.

The 19th player in the WTA rankings was more effective on serve than her young opponent, notably hitting 10 aces.

She also placed 60.2% of her first balls in the game compared to Fernandez’s 51.0%.

Marino gets his ticket

At the same time, Marino caused some surprises on the Grandstand 2 court by defeating another Czech, Marie Bouzkova, in straight sets 7-5, 6-1.

The 32-year-old British-Colombian, ranked 75th, measured up against the 26th-best player to get her ticket to the main draw.

Marino’s excellent second serve in the second set played a crucial role.

She took advantage of a resource-poor Bouzkova to win nine points from 10 as she put her second ball in play.

She didn’t face any break attempts and took the opportunity to steal serve from her rival four times.

The Canadian is yet to know the identity of her opponent in the first round of the event in Qatar.