Leylah Fernandez has been dominating the US Open in 2021, and she is just one match away from winning the entire Grand Slam championship.
In the 2021 US Open, all eyes will be on Leylah Fernandez. On Saturday, Sept. 11, the 19-year-old tennis star will face Emma Raducanu, 18, of the United Kingdom in the women’s singles finals of the Grand Slam competition.
Prior to the event, Leylah was somewhat unknown, and she wasn’t considered a favorite to win right away. However, she has defied expectations and dominated, even defeating defending champion Naomi Osaka of Japan in the third round. Find out more about Leylah by reading on!
1. Leylah is Canadian.
Leylah is a proud Canadian who is competing in the US Open Finals on behalf of her country. On September 6, 2002, she was in Montreal, and she later relocated to Florida, where she currently resides. Her father, Jorge Fernandez, is of Ecuadorian heritage, while her mother is Filipino. Leylah is trilingual, meaning she can communicate in English, French, and Spanish.
2. Her father is her coach.
Leylah’s father, Jorge, deserves a lot of credit for her successful tennis career. Jorge is her coach, and despite never having played tennis (though he is a former professional soccer player), he has been an incredible role model for Leylah on and off the court. Bianca Jolie, Jorge’s younger daughter, is also a tennis coach.
3. She’s played in major tennis tournaments before — and won.
Before the 2021 US Open, Leylah competed in a number of important tennis matches. She reached the Australian Open girls’ singles final in January 2019 as a junior, but lost to the top seed. Leylah went on to win the French Open girl’s singles finals a few months later.
Leylah made her professional debut in July 2019, winning the women’s singles finals at the Gatineau Challenger. In addition, she and her Canadian partner Rebecca Marino won the women’s doubles championship. In 2020, Leylah made her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open, although she was eliminated in the first round.
The athlete went on to qualify for the Mexican Open, where she won 12 straight sets before losing to Heather Watson, the 69th seed. In March 2021, she won the Monterrey Open for the first time in her career.
4. She competed at the Tokyo Olympics.
Leylah was one of the fortunate athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. She competed alongside Felix Auger-Aliassime for Canada. Unfortunately, Barbora Krejcikova of Czech Republic eliminated Leylah in the second round 6-2, 6-4. Belinda Bencic of Sweden won the competition.
5. She was once told to quit tennis.
Leylah may be crushing it at tennis right now, but not everyone expected her to be a success. One of Leylah’s professors had really advised her to stop playing tennis when she was younger, but she wisely ignored the suggestion.
According to WTA Insider, “a teacher encouraged me to stop playing tennis because “you’ll never make it,” and “just focus on academics.” “I’m delighted she told me that because I have that sentence in my brain every day: ‘I’m going to keep going, push through, prove to her everything I’ve dreamed of,’” Leylah said.