Leylah Fernandez came very close to starting 2023 with a title on Sunday in Auckland, but the doubles duo she formed with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands lost to that of Japan's Miyu Kato and the Indonesian Aldila Sutjiadi.
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After easily winning the first set, Fernandez and her teammate had to admit defeat 1-6, 7-5 and 10-4 in front of the third seeds of the tournament.
The losing pair nevertheless served for the match at 5-1 in the second set before dropping two match points in the following game. She was broken three times in a row, allowing her rivals to force the super tiebreaker.
Once again, service was failing for Fernandez and Mattek-Sands. They lost the front three when they had the balls in hand, carving themselves an 0-6 hole that they were never able to close.
Fernandez has yet to win a doubles title on the WTA Tour. It was his first career final.