Leylah Fernandez and Canadian tennis players excel at US Open

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“They were difficult years because they only saw their mother maybe twice a year,” Jorge said. “We finally decided to move to Florida. It’s the mecca of tennis, and we could bring the whole family together again.

To learn the art of tennis and train it, Jorge Fernandez immersed himself in the sport, reading texts and watching videos on the Internet. Her goal was to cultivate a balance between work and pleasure to ensure that Leylah never runs out of steam. He taught his daughter, who is 5ft 6in, to study Justine Henin, who is enrolled at 5-6 ¾, as it seemed like a suitable role model for success.

Despite her size, Leylah Fernandez is a powerful ball forward. Her father says that, pound for pound, Leylah is “the best powerful hitter on the tour,” and she builds confidence in her strength. Before even going to court against Osaka, she said she knew she could beat the four-time major champion.

“From a young age I knew I could beat anyone,” she said Friday night, before noting that it was more than time to go to bed.

When she won the Roland-Garros junior title in 2019, Leylah Fernandez asked her dad if they could party at McDonald’s. Always diligent when it comes to nutrition, and in a city known for its culinary expertise, Fernandez has chosen fast food to splurge. Her father agreed.

“It was just the two of us,” Jorge said. “It was lovely, but at the same time the whole family should have been there. It’s one of the tough things in tennis life, all traveling.

Jorge Fernandez was unable to witness his daughter’s victory over Osaka. He was in Florida on business. But before going to court, Leylah called him out for the strategic game plan, and he was true to his philosophy.


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