19-year old Leylah Fernandez came inches closer to scripting history at the 2021 US Open when she finished as the runner-up at the tournament narrowly missing out on the chance to become the first player born in 2002 to win a Grand Slam title and just the second Canadian woman to win the Grand Slam in New York.
While Emma Raducanu went on to defeat Leylah in the finals after her sensational and historic run winning all 3 of her qualifying rounds and 7 main-draw matches becoming the first qualifier in the history of the sport to win a Grand Slam, many can argue that Leylah had a more difficult path on her way to the finals and should have won the title.
Leylah defeated defending champion Naomi Osaka in the 3rd round, 3-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber in the 4th round, then World No. 5 Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals and World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-finals, all of those victories coming in thrilling 3-setters while also earning Leylah 3 out of her 4 Top-10 wins.
While it was a sensational display at the Slam and in the next few tournaments, Leylah still believes that there is a lot of work to be done in her game. “I have to improve my whole game. Improve my forehand, my serve, my volley, all by two or three percent to be in the top 10 in the table, in the top five, and one day number one and win a Grand Slam,” says Leylah in her recent interview with ESPN.
Leylah Fernandez to begin her 2022 season in Adelaide
At the 2022 Adelaide International, Leylah Fernandez is set to return to the Tour where she will be in a highly competitive field. The tournament is set to feature defending champion Iga Swiatek, World No. 1 Ash Barty, Garbine Muguruza, Belinda Bencic, Barbora Krejcikova and Karolina Pliskova.
Former Grand Slam champions Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, Jelena Ostapenko and Sofia Kenin will also be starting in Adelaide along with the young brigade of Aryna Sabalenka, Ons Jabeur, Coco Gauff and Paula Badosa.