Monterrey champ Leylah Fernandez loses first-round qualifying match at Miami Open

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MIAMI — Canada's Leylah Fernandez dropped a 6-4, 6-2 decision to Mihaela Buzarnescu in first-round qualifying play Monday night at the Miami Open.

Fernandez, from Laval, Que., won her first career WTA Tour title a day earlier in Monterrey, Mexico.

She had a break point in the deciding game of the opening set against the Romanian but couldn't convert. The 136th-ranked Buzarnescu controlled the second set to wrap up the match in one hour 23 minutes.

The 18-year-old Fernandez, the No. 2 qualifying seed, rose 16 spots in this week's WTA Tour rankings to a career high No. 72.

She's the second-youngest player in the Top 100 behind 17-year-old American Coco Gauff, who's ranked 36th.

Earlier in the day, Canada's Gabriela Dabrowski and Brayden Schnur lost their first-round qualifying matches. Dabrowski, from Ottawa, lost 7-5, 6-2 to Russia's Varvara Gracheva, while Schnur, the world No. 221 from Pickering, Ont., fell 6-4, 6-1 to 142nd-ranked Italian Federico Gaio.

Dabrowski is ranked 10th in the world in doubles but just 498th in singles. Gracheva is 99th in singles and the No. 6 seed in qualifying.

Players need to win two qualifying matches to be guaranteed a spot in the main draw.

Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., is the lone Canadian woman with a main-draw spot. She'll get a first-round bye as the No. 8 seed.

No. 6 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., No. 11 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal, No. 12 seed Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., and Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil are in the men's main draw.

The seeds get first-round byes while Pospisil will face a qualifier.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press