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US Open finalist, Roland-Garros quarter-finalist, Canada: 10 questions about Leylah Fernandez

Leylah Fernandez is one of the most promising young players on the WTA Tour and was the 2021 US Open runner-up. Here are the answers to 10 questions you may have about the Canadian

Leylah Fernandez Leylah Fernandez

What did Leylah Fernandez do at the US Open in 2021?

The 18-year-old Canadian caused a sensation when she beat defending champion Naomi Osaka 5-7, 7-6, 6-4 in the third round. It was by far the biggest win of her career at that point.  

“I watched Naomi win her first US Open (and) I watched her win the Australian Open the very next year,” she said. “Just seeing her and learning from her game has helped me shape who I am right now. I’m just glad that I had the opportunity to play against her tonight and to show everyone that I’m also able to compete against the best players up there.”

Fernandez then followed it up by beating former world No 1 Angelique Kerber in the next round; one day after she turned 19, she beat fifth seed Elina Svitolina to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final, and then the Canadian stunned world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka in three sets to advance to the US Open final.

She lost there to another teenager – Britain’s Emma Raducanu.

Leylah Fernandez, the crazy run goes on!
Leylah Fernandez at the US Open in 2021

When was Leylah Fernandez born?

Fernandez was born on September 6, 2002 in Montreal, Canada. As of September 8, 2021, she is 19 years old.

Who are Leylah Fernandez’s family members?

Fernandez’s father is from Ecuador and was a football player. Her mother is from Toronto but was born to parents from the Philippines. Thus, she is of Ecuadorian and Filipino descent despite playing under the Canadian flag. Fernandez’s younger sister, Bianca Jolie, is also a tennis player. Her older sister, Jodeci, is a dentist.

How tall is Leylah Fernandez?

Fernandez is listed at 5ft 4in, in her profile on the WTA website.

Who is Leylah Fernandez’s coach?

She is coached by her father, Jorge, in addition to Frenchman Romain Deridder.

How many WTA events has Fernandez won?

At the age of 18, Fernandez captured the first WTA title of her career at the Monterrey Open in March 2021 (here is the tournament draw). She defeated Viktorija Golubic 6-1, 6-4 in the final, completing a week in which she did not drop a set or even get pushed to a single tiebreak. It was Fernandez’s second appearance in a WTA final and her second in Mexico, having previously finished runner-up at the 2020 Acapulco event.

She defended her title successfully in 2022, beating Camila Osorio in the final, 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(3).

Fernandez Monterrey Trophy

How has Leylah Fernandez performed at Grand Slams?

Fernandez’s first-round loss at the 2021 Australian Open marked only her fourth-ever appearance at a Grand Slam, including qualifying events. She advanced to the third round at Roland-Garros in 2020 before her magical run to the US Open final in 2021. Fernandez also won the junior title at Roland-Garros in 2019.

In 2022, Fernandez advanced to the quarter-finals of the French Open for the first time, after a fourth-round win over Amanda Anisimova.

What is Leylah Fernandez’s favourite surface?

Fernandez’s best surface is hardcourts, where she reached her first Grand Slam final at the US Open in 2021. Fernandez is also through to the quarter-finals of the 2022 Roland-Garros Championships, after beating Amanda Anisimova. This marked the Canadian’s first WTA level quarter-final as well.

What is Leylah Fernandez’s best victory so far?

In terms of ranking, Fernandez’s win over Aryna Sabalenka, ranked No 2 in the world, in the US Open semi-final has been the biggest win of her career. Earlier in the tournamernt, she also knocked out third-ranked Naomi Osaka, fifth-ranked Elina Svitolina, and 17th-ranked (and former world No 1) Angelique Kerber. In February 2020, she upset then-world No 5 Belinda Bencic 6-2, 7-6(3) in a Fed Cup match between Canada and Switzerland.

Is Leylah Fernandez a part of Canada’s Billie Jean King Cup team?

Yes, as mentioned above Fernandez has been on the Canadian national team. The Fed Cup is now called the Billie Jean King Cup. As of March 2020, the win over Bencic is the only cup match Fernandez has played.

How much money has Leylah Fernandez earned on tour?

Fernandez has won $786,772, as of September 8, 2021. Leading into the US Open in 2021, she had already earned $373,755 for the season.

Is Leylah Fernandez on social media?

Yes. Fernandez is on Twitter and her followers are growing rapidly after her US Open run. She has more than 40,000 followers as of September 10, 2021. On Instagram, she has more than 133,000 followers.


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