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Leylah Fernandez happy to overcome ‘football match’ crowd in French Open 1st round win


Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez in action during her first round match against France's Kristina Mladenovic REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Canada’s Leylah Annie Fernandez in action during her first round match against France’s Kristina Mladenovic (REUTERS)

Filipino-Canadian Leylah Fernandez learned first-hand how loud the crowd at Roland Garros can be when she triumphed over local hope Kristina Mladenovic in the French Open first round on Sunday.

Last year’s U.S. Open finalist dominated Mladenovic in a 6-0 7-5 clash, despite the noisy support of the Parisian public for their favourite.

“Honestly it was very difficult but I’m very happy that I was able to play against such a crowd, because I always had the dream of having a crowd against myself,” Fernandez told a news conference.

“Having that experience of the French crowd that was chanting, shouting, it was a great experience, like a football match.

“I just tried to think about my game and to have fun on the court because it’s not every day you have such an atmosphere. I’m very happy to have lived such a match.”

The 19-year-old will face four-time Grand Slam doubles champion Katerina Siniakova in the second round on Wednesday.

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