Leylah Fernandez at the 2021 US Open.
Leylah Fernandez returns to action for the first time since the US Open at the ongoing 2021 BNP Paribas Open. Fernandez is set to open her campaign with a second-round encounter against Alize Cornet.
The Canadian shot to prominence with her giant-killing spree at the New York Major. She took out several top players, including Aryna Sabalenka, Elina Svitolina and Naomi Osaka, en route her maiden Grand Slam final.
Fernandez hasn’t played competitively since her Flushing Meadows run, but has kept herself busy with off-court activities – such as making an appearance at the Met Gala. And during her pre-tournament press-conference in Indian Wells, the youngster recalled her first red carpet experience, with particular focus on her meeting with former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova.
Fernandez revealed that she managed to have a conversation with Sharapova at the star-studded event. The 19-year-old also received some “pretty good” advice from the five-time Grand Slam champion.
Fernandez didn’t divulge any details of the content of the conversation, but was quick to add that Sharapova’s advice felt “very personal”.
“I was lucky enough to meet Maria Sharapova at the Met,” Leylah Fernandez recalled in her press conference. “And we kind of chatted a little bit and she gave me some pretty good advice.””I don’t want to disclose any of it because it’s very personal to me,” she added. “But I was very lucky to have met her and she is an amazing person.”Maria Sharapova is an “inspiration” for Leylah Fernandez
Leylah Fernandez, who suffered a straight-sets defeat at the hands of Emma Raducanu in the US Open final, further revealed that Maria Sharapova shared her own experience of bouncing back from difficult losses. Fernandez described Sharapova as a “great person”, before adding that the Russian inspired her to “get better every day”.
“[Maria] told me her own experience and the way that she was able to bounce back,” Fernandez said. “She’s just a great person, great inspiration to look up to and to just get better every day.”
Leylah Fernandez to team up with Coco Gauff for doubles at Indian Wells
Leylah Fernandez will partner Coco Gauff for doubles.
Lelyah Fernandez and Coco Gauff recently announced that they will be partnering each other in the women’s doubles event at the 2021 BNP Paribas Open.
Both Fernandez and Gauff – seeded 23rd and 15th in respectively – will also be making their singles debuts at the 2021 edition of the tournament. The two young stars are among as many as seven teenagers in the draw.
Leylah Fernandez has landed in the bottom half of the draw, and will open her campaign against France’s Alize Cornet. She and Gauff will take on the pairing of Irina-Camelia Begu and Renata Voracova in their doubles first-round encounter.