Leylah Fernandez: I was taught that pressure and stress will be my best friend

World No. 24 Leylah Fernandez revealed she agreed with her team to end the 2021 season after the Indian Wells Masters and take some time off before kicking off prepration for the 2022 season. 

After making her maiden Grand Slam final at the US Open, Fernandez played only Indian Wells in the rest of 2021. 

“Right after Indian Wells, we talked as a team and we said we need to take a few weeks off. No tennis racquet. No mention of tennis whatsoever. That was a weird transition to go from tennis tournament to let’s forget about tennis. But it was a fun time,” Fernandez told WTA Insider. 

“I was able to to to take a few days off, spend my time at the beach with my family, and then visit Ecuador for my younger sister’s tournament. It was an ITF 25K. That’s the only time I actually touched a tennis racquet, to be her hitting partner. It was fun to watch her play and compete the same way she watched me compete at the US Open. It was so much fun cheering her on.” 

Fernandez excited to start the season in Australia

Fernandez is set to kick off her season in Adelaide, before she plays the Australian Open. 

The focus will be on Fernandez and how she will do in Adelaide and the Australian Open.

However, Fernandez will be ready as she says she welcomes the pressure and stress. 

“I see it as a fun, fun way to start the year. I’m one of the lucky few to play the sport that I love and travel around the world and they just want to enjoy my time on the tennis court. Australia is such a beautiful place. I’m very, very happy to start off the year in a beautiful environment, surrounded with great people, with people who have the same love for the sport as me, Fernandez said. 

“Growing up I was taught that pressure and stress will be my best friend and I’m just going to take this tournament as that, just seeing where my game is at in the first tournament of the year. We’re going to see how I’m able to transition from what I did last year to this year and get ready for the Australian Open.”