Canada’s Denis Shapovalov and Leylah Annie Fernandez advanced to the third round at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.
Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., rallied to defeat Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in second-round action. The match lasted two hours 34 minutes.
It was the Canadian’s first match of the tournament at Indian Wells after earning a first-round bye.
Two hours later, Fernandez of Laval, Que., prevailed over 20-year-old American Amanda Anisimova 2-6, 7-6(0), ret. in 1:36:03.
Anisimova retired after losing the second-set tiebreak.
It was a sudden and unexpected turn of events after Fernandez looked destined to lose the match just minutes earlier.
The Canadian fought off match point in the ninth game of the second set to reduce the deficit to 5-4. The 19-year-old then fought off three consecutive match points down 0-40 to break Anisimova’s serve.
In the 11th game, Fernandez overcame two break points before dominating the tiebreak 7-0.
It was unclear why a teary eyed Anisimova told the chair umpire she would be unable to continue the match.
Fernandez, fresh off the defence of her Monterrey Open title – her second WTA crown – gets Shelby Rogers of the United States in the third round.
Earlier on the same court, the 13th-ranked Shapovalov found his rhythm and began pulling away in the decisive third set. He broke his opponent on three consecutive service games to take a 5-1 lead.
The Canadian wrapped up the 43-minute third set with a lovely return on triple match point.
Shapovalov finished the encounter with seven aces and 30 winners, and managed to overcome 57 unforced errors and nine double faults.
The 22-year-old faces hard-serving American Reilly Opelka in the next round.
After dropping the first set, Shapovalov battled back in the second.
The difference was a lengthy seventh game that saw Davidovich Fokina, ranked No. 45 in the world, fight off four break points before the Canadian finally broke through on the fifth one. That was the only service break of the set.