‘I still can’t accept that defeat’ – Leylah Fernandez reflects on US Open final loss to Raducanu
Leylah Fernandez believes she needs to “improve her whole game” if she is to become the best after losing to Emma Raducanu in the US Open final.
The 19-year-old Canadian prospect enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season similar to that of Raducanu’s, despite not winning a Grand Slam title.
In her breakout season, Fernandez won the Monterrey Open as well as reaching the finals of the US Open and the ITF Egypt 20A doubles event.
At the US Open, Fernandez impressively beat four of the top 20 players in the world, including Naomi Osaka, Elina Svitolina, three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber and most notably World number two Aryna Sabalenka. Ultimately, Fernandez lost to fellow teenage prospect Raducanu in straight sets.
Fernandez began the season ranked 88th in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) world rankings but these performances have seen her rise 64 places to finish 24th in the world.
Fernandez told ESPN sports Latin America that she feels she needs to improve every aspect of her game if she is to reach her ambitious goals of becoming World number one and winning Grand Slam titles.
“I have to improve my whole game. Improve my forehand, my serve, my volley, everything by two or three percent to be among the [top] ten in the [world] ranking, among the [top] five, and one day at number one and win a Grand Slam.
“I still can’t accept that [US Open] defeat, but I learned what I can teach the world and that I can play against the greats.”
When asked about her return to the Monterrey Open in 2022, Fernandez said “I am happy to play this tournament again, it is important to me. Mexico is like my second home, in Monterrey I won my first title.”
Fernandez last featured at the Indian Wells Masters back at the start of October and will make her return at the WTA 500 Adelaide International.
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