Leylah Fernandez

Leylah Fernandez is a Canadian professional tennis player, who has competed on the WTA Tour since 2019.

Date of Birth: 6 September 2002
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Residence: Boynton Beach, Florida, U.S.
Height: 5'6" (168cm)
Weight: 106lbs (48kg)
Plays: Left-handed (two-handed backhand)
Turned Pro: 2019

Leylah Annie Fernandez was born on September 6, 2002, in Montreal, Quebec, to her mother Irene and father Jorge, who was a football player. She has a sister named Bianca, who is also a tennis player.

Fernandez had a very successful junior career. As a 16-year-old, she reached the final of the Australian Open girls’ singles but lost out in the final to the top-seeded Clara Tauson. She went one better in the final of the French Open Juniors final a few months later.

Fernandez defeated Emma Navarro to become the first Canadian winner of a junior Grand Slam since Eugenie Bouchard in 2012. It also made her the No. 1 junior player in the world. After making her debut on the WTA Tour with a wildcard at the Canadian Open, she began playing more regularly on the tour in 2020.

Fernandez reached a maiden final in Monterrey that year but lost out to Heather Watson. The Canadian took the next step in Monterrey the following year. Fernandez won her maiden WTA title at the 2021 iteration of the event. She also had a good run to the fourth round in Indian Wells the following month.

However, the 2021 US Open is what made Fernandez known across the world. She began with solid victories against Ana Konjuh and Kaia Kanepi, but her run after that was sensational. Fernandez ousted defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round with a superb performance and then followed it up by triumphing against the 2016 champion in New York Angelique Kerber.

The quarterfinal saw Fernandez beat 2019 US Open semifinalist Elina Svitolina in a thrilling match, and then yet another stunning victory came in the semifinal over the No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka. Unfortunately for Fernandez, she won those four previous contests in tough three-set battles. The fresher Emma Raducanu took advantage of that, and the Canadian was beaten in the final.

Managing newfound expectations was always going to be difficult for Fernandez. She did win a second title in Monterrey and also had an impressive run to the quarterfinal at the French Open in 2022. Things became tougher for the US Open runner-up after that.

She struggled with her form and confidence and began to slip down the rankings for more than a year. A renaissance then came in the closing stages of the 2023 season. Fernandez won a third WTA title at the Hong Kong Open, triumphing in a thrilling final against Katerina Siniakova.

This was followed by a huge moment at the end of 2023. Team Canada claimed its first Billie Jean King Cup title, with Fernandez winning all five of her ties in the finals of the event.

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