The new breeze of tennis from Canada Leylah Annie Fernandez has been making the headlines in the women’s game with her incredible runs on Latin American hard-courts.
The 17-year-old qualifier reached the finals of the Mexican Open without dropping a set. And it was her first-ever ingress into the finals of a WTA event.
And later at Monterrey Open, World Number 126 Leylah Fernandez defeated Grand Slam champion, Sloane Stephens, in the pre-quarterfinals and opened the new gateway for Canadian tennis.
Her impressive performances as a qualifier in Acapulco and Monterey have earned her wildcard for the big tournament in Indian Wells, California. She will be placed in the main draw and will play her first match on Wednesday or Thursday.
The tennis phenom Leylah Annie Fernandez will be earning 10 ranking points provided she exits BNP Paribas Open 2020 in the first round. Despite her early exit, her ranking will shoot to World Number 118.
Leylah Annie Fernandez on Sloane Stephens
“It was a great match. I was a little nervous in the beginning. She’s a great player and she’s won a Grand Slam. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Fernandez said after her win over Stephens.
“I tried to use everything that I’ve trained, as in forgetting about the past and focusing on the present. And that’s helped me a lot. I’ve done a lot of mental training since I was very young and it’s paying off now.”
In the quarterfinals of the tournament, she played against the top-seed Elina Svitolina. The Ukrainian progressed to the first semifinal of 2020 after ending Leylah’s dream run at the Abierto GNP Seguros. Svitolina ousted her 6-3, 7-5 in the last-eight round.
“I was expecting she would come out and play really well, she won lots of matches last week as well,” Svitolina reflected. “It was quite expected, and I tried to stay focused, tried to play every point as the last one.”