Leylah Fernandez: “As a child I wanted to have Roger Federer’s calm”

Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber, Elina Svitolina, Aryna Sabalenka. These are some of the opponents that Leylah Fernandez managed to beat during the two weeks at the US Open, the last Grand Slam tournament of the 2021 season, before stopping at the finest in the final against her 2002 peer and friend Emma Raducanu.

A girl who has missed the opportunity to win her first prestigious title, also due to an imperfect physical condition due to the many battles faced with respect to her opponent, but demonstrating a great talent to overcome very strong players who occupy the top positions of the WTA rankings.

The Canadian has made herself known in the world in recent days for the feats she has accomplished, fascinating all fans and professionals. No one, on the eve, could think of a final between two very young tennis players, a sign of a very balanced period in the women’s Tour. Before this incredible milestone, she had only gone as far as a third round at Roland Garros in 2020 in the Grand Slams.

Fernandez and her style of play

The 19-year-old from Montreal told an anecdote relating to a few years ago and her early years: “Usually when I was still younger I wanted to be as calm as possible on the court, a bit like Roger Federer manages to do in his matches. I was surprised that the more outgoing I am and try to engage the audience, the better I play.”

On her path in the New York competition she said: “I can’t decide what my best victory is here, because I did well in several matches. I was happy with my first round for having a success in this tournament.

Then Kaia is a very experienced player, with Naomi, who has won many Grand Slams, I was happy with how she had played, against Kerber I fought every point and the same with Svitolina and Sabalenka. I can’t really decide what the highlight was, but I can say I’m super proud of what I did.”