Leylah Fernandez's darkest hour: "I had lost my identity"



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Leylah Fernandez's darkest hour: "I had lost my identity"
© Fran Santiago / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Leylah Fernandez was the brightest star of the Billie Jean King Final. Canada won the title a few weeks ago for the first time in its history. A success sealed by the young tennis player who won all of her singles matches in the final phase.

She recounted that incredible week. "It was an incredible week, full of emotions. We went to Seville with the aim of winning the tournament, knowing we had an excellent team. Heidi is a great coach for us. She encouraged me and showed me the key points in important matches.

I am happy to have lived this experience with the girls and the support team," she confessed in an interview with RDS. However, her year was not exciting. A single title at the WTA 250 in Hong Kong is a meager haul for a talent of this level.

The 21-year-old tried to tell it, analyzing: "It wasn't a very good season for me. I would give myself a 4 out of 10 if I'm honest."

Leylah Fernandez's darkest hour

"I lost my identity on the tennis court. I wanted to change my tennis and that didn't help me.

I lost a lot in the first and second rounds, but I'm very lucky to have parents who were honest with me. My father and my coach, Jorge, told me that I was lost on the courts, that I no longer had as much fun as I used to. During training sessions with my father I began to rediscover the pleasure of playing good tennis.

I wasn't just thinking about hitting the ball hard. I started having fun with volleys, drop shots and slices. I think that showed at the end of the year with a singles title," she said. The BJKC triumph seems to have lit a fire inside her again: "It gave me a lot of confidence for the pre-season, to start competing again. train and hope to play well in 2024."