Canadian tennis player, Leylah Fernandez, has had an up and down 2022 season. After suffering a Grade 3 stress fracture in her foot at the French Open in May, the 20-year-old healed in time to compete in the National Bank Open in Toronto in August.
Fernandez was eliminated in the Round of 32, but her comeback was a pleasant sight for Canadian tennis fans. Fernandez discussed her 2022 season on Going Deep with Donnovan Bennett on Thursday.
“It’s been a hard year with a lot of challenges with the injuries, but I learned a lot about myself,” Fernandez said. “I was just super happy that I was able to finish the year healthy and just looking forward for 2023.”
Fernandez began the year ranked 24th in the WTA singles rankings and rose to a career-high 13th before her injury, but missing the full grass season set her back, and she is currently 40.
If this year has taught the rising star anything, it is her tenacity and maturity in the face of hardship. “Physically, it’s hard to come back to the fitness that I was at before, but also emotionally, it was hard to accept in the beginning that it was going to take me a couple of months to get back,” Fernandez explained.
“Knowing that I was able to get back and see that the body is still strong and is still able to push through those moments has given me confidence”. With the assistance of her father and coach, Jorge Fernandez, and free of injury, the Montreal native expects 2023 to be her best season yet.
“Every single day working with my dad, has inspired me a lot because I see how hard he works,” said Fernandez. “I’m just so happy that he’s still part of my team”. The Australian Open in January will be Fernandez’s first significant challenge of the new year.