Leylah Fernandez US Open 2021

Advice from ‘amazing’ multi-Slam champion inspires Leylah Fernandez for battle

Leylah Fernandez is ready and raring to go at Indian Wells after some exclusive advice from a former world number one.

Like champion Emma Raducanu, The US Open finalist is taking to the court for the first time since the New York final at the WTA 1000 event at Indian Wells.

Ahead of her first match, Fernandez has reportedly received some words of wisdom from two-time champion Maria Sharapova.

“She gave me some pretty good advice,” Fernandez said having met the five-time Slam champion at the Met Gala. “I don’t want to disclose any of it because it’s very personal for me.

“She’s an amazing person. She told me her own experience and the way that she was able to bounce back and she’s just a great person, great inspiration to kind of look up to.”

Fernandez is making her India Wells debut this week, with the tournament being her fifth WTA 1000 appearance.

She has never progressed beyond the first round of a WTA 1000. This year, she automatically receives a bye to the second round thanks to her position as the 23rd seed.

“I’m very lucky to have a great team around me to just let me focus on my craft, on my tennis, and not be overwhelmed with everything that’s going right now,” Fernandez added.

“Honestly I just can’t wait to be back on the tennis court competing again.”

Fernandez will face either Romanian qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse or France’s Alize Cornet in her first match at Indian Wells.

Fernandez and Raducanu are both in the bottom half of the women’s draw. A rematch of their US Open final would take place in the semi-finals should both women reach that stage.