Fernandez Feels Losing Tennis 'Identity' Contributed To Bad 2023 Season

Fernandez Feels Losing Tennis 'Identity' Contributed To Bad 2023 Season

by Alex Waite

Leylah Fernandez has pointed to a tennis identity crisis for her underwhelming 2023 campaign on the courts.

Hopes have been high for Fernandez ever since she raced to the 2021 US Open final before eventually losing to Emma Raducanu at Flushing Meadows. However, the Canadian player has struggled to garner momentum in her career since and fell to her lowest ranking of 96th in June 2023.

Fernandez's dip in the WTA standings followed some disappointing outings in the Grand Slams, including a first-round exit at the US Open and second-round eliminations in the three other majors.

When reflecting on her 2023 campaign, the 21-year-old explained to RDS that she tried to implement a new approach to tennis that conflicted with her identity.

"I lost my identity on the tennis court. I wanted to change my tennis, and it didn't help me. I lost a lot in the first and second rounds.

"But I'm very lucky to have parents who are honest with me. My father Jorge told me that I was lost on the courts, that I didn't seem to be having fun like before,"

But it wasn't all bad for Fernandez, who showed some solid late-season form with victories at the Hong Kong Open and the Billie Jean King Cup. Also, the Canadian player was able to climb back up the WTA rankings and finished the 2023 season in 35th place.

Currently, it appears as though Fernandez is struggling to see the positives from 2023. Yet, she is already looking ahead to 2024 and trying to develop with a strong pre-season.

"It wasn't a very good season for me. I give myself 4 out of 10 if I can be honest. It gave me a lot of confidence for the pre-season, to start training again and play well, I hope, in 2024," 


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