Laval teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez falls in her first WTA finals, moves to No. 126 in rankings

Canada's Leylah Fernandez returns a ball in her women's final match against Heather Watson of Great Britain at the Mexican Tennis Open in Acapulco, Mexico, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez came up short in her bid to win a WTA event for the first time, losing to Britain's Heather Watson 6-4, 6-7 (8), 6-1 on Saturday in the Mexican Open final.

¡Tenemos una nueva campeona!@HeatherWatson92 ���� vence 6-4, 6-7(8) y 6-1 a Leylah Fernandez ���� para conquistar la corona de Acapulco y sumar el cuarto título de su carrera.#AMT2020 #CelebratingTennis @WTA @WTA_Espanol@telcel @hsbc_mx

— Abierto Mexicano (@AbiertoTelcel) March 1, 2020

It was the deepest the 17-year-old Fernandez has ever gotten in a WTA tournament.

The Laval, Que., native showed poise in the loss, saving five championship points before winning the second set.

Fernandez entered the tournament ranked 190th in the world but will reach No. 126 when the WTA rankings are updated on Monday. Her previous best was 185th on Feb. 3.

She became the first Canadian to ever reach the Mexican Open final and the youngest finalist in the tournament's history after beating Mexico's Renata Zarazua 6-3, 6-3, in Friday's semifinal.

It's the fourth week in a row a Canadian has lost in the singles final of a WTA or ATP Tour event -- Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil and Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime, twice, have also come up short in February.

Fernandez advanced to the final of the Mexican Open with a win over Renata Zarazua on Friday night.

Last night was magical! �� I’m grateful for all of your support this week. Focused and ready for finals tonight! SEMIFINALS ✅

¡Anoche fue mágico! �� Estoy agradecida por todo su apoyo esta semana. ¡Centrada y lista para la final esta noche! SEMIFINALES #amt2020 @AbiertoTelcel

— leylahfernandez (@leylahfernandez) February 29, 2020

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 29, 2020.