Five things to know about Leylah Fernandez
Leylah Fernandez is wowing everyone with her displays at the US Open. Find out more about her as she continues storming New York.
The 19-year-old Canadian has beaten former US Open champions in back-to-back matches to reach the quarter-finals in New York.
Join Tennishead for a dive into five things you should know about the rising talent.
Fernandez was born in Montreal, Canada, to a Filipino Canadian mother and Ecaudorian father. Her younger sister, Bianca Jolie Fernandez, is also a tennis player, ranked just outside the top-1000.
She started playing at the age of five at the Bromley Tennis Academy in Bromley, south east London.
2) Junior success
Leylah Fernandez was a top ranked junior, competing in numerous girls’ singles Grand Slams.
She reached the final of the girls’ singles for the 2019 Australian Open, losing out to top seed Clara Tauson, before reaching the girls’ French Open final that same year.
There she went one step further, defeating American Emma Navarro 6-3, 6-2.
3) WTA titlist
Fernandez claimed her first professional title on the second tier of the women’s tour, the ITF Gatineau in Canada, in July 2019.
Soon after, she reached a first WTA tour final at the Mexico Open in Acapulco. She lost out to Britain’s Heather Watson that day.
At the WTA 250 Monterrey Open, Fernandez was the youngest player in the main draw, but won all four of her matches en route to the final in straight sets. She then defeated Viktorija Golubic, also in straight sets, to claim a first WTA title, and without dropping a set.
4) Giant killer
In the third round of the 2021 US Open, Fernandez came up two-time and defending champion Naomi Osaka (winner in 2018 and 2020).
Despite Osaka serving for the match the teenager rallied to overcome the Japanese star and set up a battle with Angelique Kerber.
Herself a US Open champion in 2016, Kerber took the first set 6-4 and went up a break in the second. But again Fernandez fought back, claiming the second in a tiebreak before finishing Kerber off 6-2 in the decider.
5) Rising high
With her run in New York, Fernandez is set to jump from her current ranking of world number 73 to a career-high 49, just inside the top-50.
Should she defeat Elina Svitolina to reach the semi-finals, that climb will be even greater.
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