Jorge Fernandez, father and coach of Leylah, spoke about her growth path and future challenges, interviewed by Tennis Majors
The final of the US Open 2021 for women saw two completely new opponents as protagonists. On the one hand, Emma Raducanu, just eighteen, managed to reach the last act of the tournament and even raise the trophy coming from the qualifiers.
On the other hand, the 19 year-old Leylah Fernandez, another real revelation on the hard-courts of Flushing Meadows. The player originally from Montréal is yet another fruit of an important and expensive (also economically) work of Canadian tennis clubs, which for years have invested considerable resources to train young talents and launch them towards the big stages.
Work that with Fernandez has evidently paid off, given the results achieved. Jorge Fernandez, father and coach of Leylah, spoke about her growth path and future challenges, interviewed by Tennis Majors.
Leylah Fernandez’s goal is to hit the top 10
Speaking to the microphones of Tennis Majors, Leylah Fernandez’s father and coach, Jorge Fernandez, said he was proud and satisfied with his daughter’s path to the US Open: “Leylah’s performance was truly incredible.
In fact, she had been waiting for him for a while because she trained very well and with a lot of intensity. I am happy that you have reached a Grand Slam final. Even though the year wasn’t spectacular we tried different ways of working.
The important thing is that her game has developed well against the best players and this makes us very happy.” Speaking of great opponents, Fernandez has met and beaten in her path the likes of Naomi Osaka: “Osaka was not at the top of her game, while the match against Kerber was much more balanced.
There, she found solutions on the court and proved capable of fighting against the best in the world and bouncing back in the face of adversity.” Unfortunately, her fairytale ended in the final against Raducanu and also abruptly: “I think she has made a mistake in the way she approached the game and then failed to return to her game plan.
She surely she hasn’t played her best tennis than she has and Emma is very talented. I think Leylah was not mentally prepared to keep doing what she was doing. And this is beyond her opponent.” However, her path remains highly positive and now it is time to think about the future in order to achieve what was the target set for this year: “Our goal for 2021 was to finish in the top 10.
We are still a bit far away because it hasn’t been an easy year. Even though she won a WTA 250, the idea was to get a 250 and a 500. The Grand Slam final doesn’t change anything. However, we know that if we work hard, she will have a chance to win a Grand Slam.
The good thing is that the first thing he told me after the final was that she couldn’t wait to get back to training.”