‘Underdog’ Leylah Fernandez reveals ‘the most important thing’ from French Open run
Teen sensation Leylah Fernandez revealed the key to her success so far at Roland Garros after she reached the quarter-finals for the first time in the French capital.
Following her heroics at the US Open last year where she finished runner-up to Emma Raducanu, Fernandez has enjoyed a mixed season so far.
The Canadian lost in the first round of the Australian Open and failed to really get an extended run on clay in the lead-up to the French Open, with her best result coming at the Madrid Open earlier this month where she reached the last 16.
However, in February for the first time in her tour-level career, Leylah Fernandez successfully defended a WTA title as she won the Monterrey Open.
Despite entering the second Major of the year in not the best form, the 19-year-old has seemed to find her best tennis again as she reached the quarter-finals in Paris for the first time on Sunday.
After a tight three-set win over 14th seed Belinda Bencic in a feisty third-round clash, Fernandez again had to go the distance as she beat the American Amanda Anisimova 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in just under two hours.
Following the match, Fernandez, who won the French Open girls’ title in 2019, revealed to reporters that the “most important thing” in her bid for a maiden Grand Slam title is that she keeps improving.
In a recent interview, Fernandez said, “I think I’m improving more and more and understanding my game, that’s the most important thing.
“That was our goal after the US Open, that we just want to improve my tennis game, my all-around game, and just keep getting those opportunities and see where my level is at and see where I can improve for the next match.
“I think I just understood that there is a process, and it’s still a long year, very long year, and I just need to calm myself down, calm my mind down, and just accept that things are going to be tough.
“Things are going to go sideways in a match, in a practice, and just understand that I’ve got more tools in my toolbox that I can use and just find solutions.”
Leylah Fernandez continued as she said she was happy to continue her status as an underdog in the tournament.
“Every time I step out on the court I still have something to prove.
“I still have that mindset I’m the underdog. I’m still young, I still have a lot to show to the people, to the public so that they can just enjoy the tennis match.”
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