Leylah Fernandez is a Canadian professional female tennis player who has a career-high ranking of 13 and reached the final of the 2021 US Open.
Name: Leylah Fernandez
Born: September 6, 2002
Turned Pro: 2019
Further statistics here
Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on the 6th of September, 2022, Leylah Fernandez had sport in her blood. Her father and coach Jorge is a former Ecuadorian footballer who despite having no prior experience in the tennis world, uses skills learned from his football career in his coaching.
First coming to the attention of the tennis world as a junior, Fernandez reached the final of the 2019 Australian Open girl’s singles, losing 6-4, 6-3 to Clara Tauson. Later that same year at the French Open girl’s singles, Fernandez would go one step further and become the first Canadian female winner of a junior Grand Slam title since Eugenie Bouchard at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships.
Turning professional in 2019, Fernandez would claim her first senior title at the Gatineau Challenger, beating her fellow Canadian Carson Branstine in the final. The very same day Fernandez would pick up her first senior doubles title, as she teamed with Rebecca Marino.
On her Grand Slam debut at the 2020 Australian Open, Fernandez would suffer a straight-sets defeat to Lauren Davis. It seemed the experience had done wonders for the young Canadian however, as just a week later, Fernandez defeated a top 10 player for the first time when she was victorious over Belinda Bencic in the Billie Jean King Cup.
Fernandez continued to progress, reaching her first WTA Tour final in February 2020 at the Mexican Open, before losing to Heather Watson and at the 2020 French Open making it through to the third round, defeating 31st seed Magda Linette on route prior to falling to Petra Kvitova.
The 2021 Monterrey Open saw the 18-year-old achieve WTA Tour victory for the first time, not dropping a set in the tournament. However, it was the 2021 US Open when Fernandez announced herself on the world stage.
On an underdog run to the final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Fernandez would defeat three of the top five in the world rankings. Coming from a set down to beat world number three Naomi Osaka in the third round, Fernandez would then bounce back from losing the first set to Angelique Kerber in the last 16. 5th seed Elina Svitolina and 2nd seed Aryna Sabalenka were then dispatched in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively before the Canadian would eventually suffer heartbreak in the final against Emma Raducanu.
Following her US Open run, Fernandez would rise up to 23 in the World Rankings and secure herself a spot at the Indian Wells Open for the first time in her career. After defeating Alize Cornet and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Fernandez fell to a fourth-round defeat to Shelby Rogers.
In 2022, Fernandez would repeat her Monterrey Open success and defend her title, saving five championship points against Camila Osorio in the final. At Indian Wells she should avenge her loss to Rogers from the year prior before suffering defeat against Paula Badosa in the fourth round.
At the 2022 French Open, Fernandez impressed once again reaching the quarter-final stage after victories over Kristina Mladenovic, Kateřina Siniaková, Belinda Bencic and Amanda Anisimova before a three-set loss to Italian number one, Martina Trevisan.
Leylah’s sister Bianca Fernandez is also a tennis player and the duo played as a pair in the women’s doubles at the 2022 Monterrey Open suffering a first-round defeat.
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