Sports Canadian teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez ready for Grand Slam qualifier

11:32  14 january  2020
11:32  14 january  2020 Source:   msn.com

Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez advances in Australian Open qualifiers

  Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez advances in Australian Open qualifiers MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez toppled Romania's Patricia Maria Tig 6-2, 6-3 on Thursday in a first-round qualifier at the Australian Open that originally began a day earlier. Fernandez, from Laval, Que., was leading Tig 6-2, 4-1 when play was suspended on Wednesday because of rain. Meanwhile, Canadian Peter Polansky made a quick exit in qualifying on Thursday. Polansky, from Thornhill, Ont., was ousted by France'sFernandez, from Laval, Que., was leading Tig 6-2, 4-1 when play was suspended on Wednesday because of rain.

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada returns a shot to Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic in round 1 of the Rogers Cup women's tennis tournament in Toronto, Monday August 5, 2019. After enjoying strong results at the junior and lower-tier Challenger levels, Canada 's Fernandez appears poised for

Leylah Annie Fernandez (born 6 September 2002) is a Canadian tennis player. Her father Jorge is a former soccer player, and her younger sister Bianca Jolie is also a tennis player.

a woman hitting a ball with a racket© Provided by The Canadian Press

With the Canadian tennis scene reaching new highs last year, it was easy to forget that one of the sport's top young prospects made remarkable strides and appears primed for big things of her own.

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., won the French Open junior girls' title last summer and quietly posted strong results on the Challenger circuit. Now 17, she appears ready to clear more hurdles in her first full professional season.

Fernandez will make her first Grand Slam appearance as a pro this week at the Australian Open. She's tabbed to play her first-round qualifying match against Romania's Patricia Maria Tig on Wednesday.

Australian Open 2020: Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez advances out of qualifiers, country's only woman in main draw

  Australian Open 2020: Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez advances out of qualifiers, country's only woman in main draw The 17-year-old Montreal native defeated Danielle Lao of the United States to earn a main draw bid for this year's tournament.Since countrymate Bianca Andreescu was forced to pull out of the tournament to continue rehabbing a knee injury, fellow Canadian teenager Fernandez will compete as the country's only woman in the Australian Open main draw. The 17-year-old was forced to battle through qualifiers, collecting wins over Romania's Patricia Tig (6-2, 6-3), Japan's Mayo Hibi (6-4, 6-4) and capped off her entry with a win against Lao.

Leylah Annie FERNANDEZ . Canada . Head To Head. Grand Slams . Leylah Annie Fernandez Women's Singles Overview. Commercial Partners.

Leylah Annie Fernandez previous match was against Paula Badosa Gibert in Auckland, New Zealand, Qualifying , match ended with result 2 - 0 (Paula Leylah Annie Fernandez performance & form graph is SofaScore Tennis livescore unique algorithm that we are generating from player’s last 10

"That was our main goal was to be here in Australia, not for the juniors but for the women's tour — the qualifiers," Fernandez said. "When we got the news, we trained even harder and prepared my game for the WTA Tour."

Bianca Andreescu's breakout season was the talk of the Canadian sports world last year. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov made strides on the men's tour and the national Davis Cup team made it all the way to the final.

Fernandez, meanwhile, won her first pro tournament at the ITF Gatineau Challenger in July. She also went deep in some other lower-level events through the summer and fall.

Her ranking surged over 200 positions, leapfrogging players like Eugenie Bouchard, Rebecca Marino, Katherine Sebov and Francoise Abanda to eventually become the Canadian No. 2.

Canadians Schnur, Diez through 1st round in Australian Open qualifying

  Canadians Schnur, Diez through 1st round in Australian Open qualifying Canadians cruised in the first round of Australian Open qualifying on Tuesday. Brayden Schnur, Steven Diez and Leylah Annie Fernandez all joined Eugenie Bouchard in moving one step closer to the main draw with key opening victories. Schnur, from Toronto, was the only Canadian to require the full match distance. After dropping the first 6-2 to Austria's Sebastian Ofner, the third-seeded Schnur responded with 6-3 and 6-4 victories in the final two sets to move on.Diez, also from Toronto, made quick work of Barbados' Darian King 6-2, 6-2.Fernandez, the 17-year-old from of Laval, Que., had her match against No.

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada in first-round action Monday at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. MARK BLINCH/The Canadian Press. Leylah Annie Fernandez isn’t letting a tough result get in the way of a big year for the Canadian teenager on the women’s tennis scene. The 16-year-old from Laval, Que

Leylah Annie Fernandez checks out her reflection in the trophy she won for capturing the the If it all sounds like a bit much for a teenager , don’t worry. Fernandez says she still finds time to do normal kid stuff. Tennis Canada has stepped in and contributed financing for Leylah , despite her development

The only Canadian above the 206th-ranked Fernandez is Andreescu at No. 6. The reigning US Open champion from Mississauga, Ont., is skipping the Australian Open due to a knee injury.

"There's so much more that I can achieve if I put my mind to it," Fernandez said from Melbourne. "I was working hard since the very beginning and 2019 showed the results, (I'm) very happy."

At this stage of her blossoming career, one of the main goals is to get reps against WTA Tour players and gain more of a feel for what's to come.

Don't necessarily expect another exponential rankings jump.

"We're being careful," said Jorge Fernandez, her father and primary coach. "We don't want to go too fast, too soon."

Fernandez said she wants to keep developing her overall skillset and is aiming to crack the top 100 this season.

"I think I've always known that I was ready (for the pros) but of course there's some steps and levels that I have to go through, which I was fine with," she said. "It's a matter of let's say proving (to) yourself that yes, you can play with some top players.

Canada's Denis Shapovalov draws Hungary's Marton Fucsovics at Australian Open

  Canada's Denis Shapovalov draws Hungary's Marton Fucsovics at Australian Open MELBOURNE, Australia — Top Canadian Denis Shapovalov will begin play at the Australian Open against an unfamiliar opponent. The No. 13 seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., will square off with world No. 66 Marton Fucsovics of Hungary in the opening round of the first Grand Slam of the season. It will be the first career meeting between the two players. The draw was held Thursday. Shapovalov, 20 opened the 2020 season with wins against top-10 players Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Cup before losing in a third-set tiebreak against No. 2 Novak Djokovic at the team event.

Leylah Annie Fernandez (born September 6, 2002 in Montréal, Québec, Canada ) is a Canadian junior tennis player. She reached a career-high WTA singles ranking of No. 257 on July 29, 2019 and a career-high WTA doubles ranking of No. 447 on July 29, 2019.

Canada 's Leylah Annie Fernandez holds the trophy after winning the junior women's final match of the French Fernandez is the first Canadian to win a junior Grand Slam singles title since Felix Auger-Aliassime won the Vasek Pospisil ready to come back. “She always wanted to win the French Open.

"So every time that I would step on the court, I just want to play and do what I can to reach the next level."

Fernandez will get a stiff test out of the gate at Melbourne Park. Tig is the seventh seed in the qualifying draw and ranked 113th in the world.

The Canadian teenager also had a tough draw in her opening match of the year. She dropped a 7-5 7-6 (3) decision to 95th-ranked Paula Badosa of Spain in the first round of qualifying in Auckland.

Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., was scheduled to play Xiaodi You of China on Tuesday.

In men's qualifying play on Wednesday, third seed Brayden Schnur of Pickering, Ont., was to meet Sebastian Ofner of Austria and Peter Polansky of Thornhill, Ont., was to face Alexandre Muller of France. Toronto's Steven Diez was to open against Darian King of Barbados.

Main draw action at the first Grand Slam of the season begins Jan. 20 and continues through Feb. 2.

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., Montreal's Auger-Aliassime, Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., and Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil have direct entries into the main draw.

Fernandez is working with coach Romain Deridder while she's in Australia. Her father, who's based in Boynton Beach, Fla., said mental toughness will be key in the early going this season.

Shapovalov leads Canadian contingent in Australian Open men's singles

  Shapovalov leads Canadian contingent in Australian Open men's singles Sometimes a tough loss on the tennis court can feel like a victory in many ways. For Canada's Denis Shapovalov, pushing Novak Djokovic to the brink of defeat at the ATP Cup felt like a significant hurdle cleared. It's one reason why the 20-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., is feeling confident ahead of the Australian Open. "Honestly that was a huge match for me," Shapovalov said Friday. "I think mentally-wise because it's the first time IIt's one reason why the 20-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., is feeling confident ahead of the Australian Open.

Leylah Annie Fernandez . Canada . Profile data courtesy ATP/WTA. Uchijima v Annie Fernandez R2.

List of Girls' Singles Junior Grand Slam tournaments tennis champions. Many of these junior champions went onto become major champions and world No. 1's on the senior tour including Evonne Goolagong Cawley (world No. 1 and 8-time major winner), Sue Barker (1976 French Open champion)

"It's like anybody else. When they go and do something for the first time, there's an excitement and sometimes that takes you away from your game," he said from Florida. "It takes you away from what you're used to doing and then it becomes a little bit more complicated than what it is.

"In the juniors, it's more forgiving. In the pros, the WTA-level players, it's less forgiving. So I'm pretty confident."

A left-hander, Fernandez has a variety of weapons on the court. She's not afraid to use her power from the baseline and likes to mix in different looks to keep opponents guessing.

She has shown that she's quite comfortable in Melbourne, having reached the final of the junior tournament there last year.

Fernandez ramped up her workouts and training in recent weeks to prepare for this year's event while trying to improve her accuracy, strength and speed on court.

"We did do a little bit more fitness to get myself ready for the WTA Tour, I'm not playing against juniors anymore," she said. "It's with women who are bigger and stronger. So I have to be ready for that."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2020.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

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