Leylah Fernandez, 19, says it took her a few tournaments after the US Open to accept that she won’t be playing extremely well every week but promised to herself that she would give her absolute best every time she steps onto the court.
On Friday, 17th-seeded Fernandez left it all out on the court and it paid off as she edged out 14th-seeded Belinda Bencic 7-5 3-6 7-5 in the French Open third round.
Fernandez suffered a shock first round defeat at the Australian Open but is now having a promising run at the French Open.
“After the US Open I did put a little bit more pressure on myself. That’s normal, because I want to reproduce what I did in the US Open over and over again. I think after the first few tournaments, I accepted that I will not be playing the same way every single time. I will just have to find solutions and keep working hard. Over the course of the year I have just been sticking to that, just putting my head down and just grinding it out every day,” Fernandez said, per the WTA website.
Fernandez: There is always a room for improvement
Fernandez won her first title of the season in early March in Monterrey but then struggled with her form in her next couple of tournaments.
“The first five months [of 2022] is definitely some ups and downs, but our team and our spirit is always high. We always want to improve. We don’t see it as — how do I say this? — as a failure, the first five months. I see it more as I’ve got a lot to improve and I can just get better. Because that’s the beauty of tennis, that we have a tournament every week and I can just keep working on some technical things, some tactical things. If it works, that’s great. If it doesn’t work, we can just go back to the drawing board and get ready for the upcoming weeks and tournaments,” Fernandez added.
Fernandez plays next Amanda Anisimova.