‘Obviously I want to win a Slam’ – Leylah Fernandez aiming high in 2022
After contesting the US Open final with fellow teen sensation Emma Raducanu, Leylah Fernandez has the ultimate goal to win a Major in 2022.
The 19-year-old Canadian rode high in New York as she defeated three top 10 players and two multiple Slam champions to reach the final.
Eventually losing out to Raducanu, Fernandez still leapt from 73rd to within the top 25, finishing 2021 at a career-high 24th in the WTA rankings.
Now, the young talent is setting her sights for even loftier achievements in 2022.
“I’ve always had those high objectives because my parents said if you don’t set the bar high, then you don’t really believe in yourself,” Fernandez told WTA Insider.
“This season is still the same. I want to achieve top 10, I want be able to play the WTA Finals at the end of the year. Obviously, I want to win a Grand Slam.”
Fernandez has a chance to improve on previous season early with the Australian Open beginning 17th January.
She has never advanced beyond the first round in Melbourne, and will benefit from being seeded at a Major for the first time in her career at this year’s event.
Still, despite her inexperience, Fernandez understands that success is not only measured by on-court accolades.
“But I define success as me enjoying the sport, enjoying my time on the tennis court,” she added.
“As a team, we don’t want to lose that happiness working together. We want to keep that smile, keep that joy for the sport and then finish the year healthy, physically, mentally and also emotionally.
“That’s success for me.”
Fernandez defeated world number 34 Ekaterina Alexandrova in her first round match at the WTA 500 Adelaide International 1.
Next she will face world number nine, 2020 Roland Garros champion and defending Adelaide International champion Iga Swiatek.
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