Leylah Fernandez wins the 2021 Monterrey Open

As I mentioned yesterday morning, there was a tennis match around 4:30pm yesterday from Monterrey Mexico: the final match for the 2021 Monterrey Open (the 2020 was the last tennis match played before the Wuhan Flu inspired lockdowns). The Open, as I implied, is a relatively minor event, part of the WTA 250 series. As a result of her win, "Canadian" Leylah Fernandez (6/10) gets 280 points and got a bump up in ranking from 77 yesterday morning to 72 this morning (still comfortably second place in the Canadian Women's rankings, behind Bianca Andreescu (7.5/10, 9th place ranking) but well ahead of Eugenie Bouchard (10/10, 118th place ranking).

I missed the first set (Fernandez won in straights), but did catch all but the first game of the second set. For a decent span in the middle of the second set Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic (5.5/10) was holding her own and giving Fernandez a run for her money, but Fernandez's ground game was far too strong. Golubic has an extra decade of age on the 18 year old and she didn't seem to use that extra experience to her best potential: Golubic rarely forced Fernandez to move laterally across the court and the few times that Fernandez was out of position she was generally able to recover while Golubic never seemed willing or able to put her body on the line for any individual shot. Had Golubic been able to put Fernandez on her weak backhand more often it might have gone a different way, but Fernandez seemed to have all the ball control by the time she tied the games up at 4-4, and never let it go. She got one of her two aces in that mop-up operation late in the set, and Golubic's inability to get any break points stopped her one rally that almost cost Fernandez her 5-4 lead. Today Fernandez is already in Miami where she will be taking on Romania's Mihaela Buzărnescu (5.5/10) at 2:30pm in a qualification match.

The most ridiculous part of the entire final however came at the end of the match: when Fernandez won and before the trophy presentation was beginning, the on-air commentators (I was watching the Bein Sports HD 5 feed) talked about how proud all of Canada must be with all the Canadians watching at home to support her. There was just one minor flaw in their reasoning: almost nobody in Canada could watch it.

The WTA does not have a contract with TSN, or Sportsnet. If you had RDS you could watch the replay of the men's Mexican Open, but the only way in Canada to (legally) watch the WTA Monterrey Open was via the streaming service DAZN. Let's just say that DAZN isn't high up on most Canadians' lists of streaming services to subscribe to: most people probably haven't even heard of it. The reason I missed part of the second set (I was out for groceries during the first set) was the difficulty of finding which Bein Sports feed was even showing the WTA event, let alone tracking down a website that would let me watch it.

So no, while some Canadians were probably watching their DAZN subscription, there weren't millions (or hundreds of thousands, or tens of thousands, or possibly even mere thousands) of Canadians tuned in to watch "their" girl Leylah Annie Fernandez (she's actually African, which is where her sister Bianca lives and the bikini photo at top was taken) win the trophy.