World number 72 Leylah Fernandez will face the world number 91 Danka Kovinic in the second round of the 2021 Charleston Open on Wednesday, April 7. Get the live streaming options of this Leylah Fernandez v Danka Kovinic match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Leylah Fernandez v Danka Kovinic Head to Head
Fernandez and Kovinic have never faced off in a competitive match before this.
Fernandez Continues to Take Scalps
Around two years ago, Fernandez was meandering at around the 400th rank on the WTA charts. Two years on, she has edged forward to her career-best ranking of 72nd, having won her first ever WTA title a couple of weeks ago in Monterrey.
What was so special about that victory was Fernandez didn’t drop a single set before clinching the title and while she isn’t spoken about in the same breath as the likes of Cori Gauff and Iga Swiatek, her performances point to a movement in that direction.
Fernandez makes it to this second round match with an easy 6-3, 6-1 win over Shuai Zhang, a player ranked 42 in the world at the moment – another of Fernandez’s higher-ranked scalps. And the match lasted a mere hour and nine minutes, with Fernandez breaking her Chinese opponent five times out of the six chances she got.
In return, she held her serve on all but one occasions and will now look to build on what she had done on clay last season. The Canadian teenager had overcome Magda Linette and Polona Hercog at Roland Garros to make it as far as the third round there before falling to Petra Kvitova and a deeper run here would help her gain confidence for the upcoming clay court season – traditionally not her most preferred surface.
Kovinic Scrapes Past Talaba
Her opponent was ranked 215th in the world, but Kovinic needed an hour and 50 minutes and a tie-breaker to make it past Gabriela Talaba in the first round. She won 7-6 (2), 6-4 in a match where things could have easily gone against her.
Finding it difficult to break her opponent’s serve, Kovinic then lost her own in the ninth game to love, bringing Talaba into serving for the set. Nerves got the better of the inexperienced player as Kovinic broke back, took the set into a tie-breaker and clinched it.
The second set began with both players sharing a break of serve, but Kovinic then broke for a second time and raced off to a 5-2 lead soon enough. Again, a longish game as she looked to serve for the match resulted in a break of serve but she didn’t squander that opportunity the second time and closed out the encounter.
What works in Kovinic’s favour coming into this encounter is she is clay court specialist, with all 12 of her ITF-level titles having come on that surface. The question, however, is whether that’s good enough to test a player of the quality of Fernandez.
Fernandez v Kovinic Prediction and Tip
Not surprisingly, Fernandez starts out a 2/7 favourite to win this encounter but will Kovinic use her experience and quality on clay to test her? We think so but it could still be a straight-set win for the Canadian.
Tip: Games Handicap Kovinic +4.5: 10/11 (bet365)