2021 US Open Finalist Leylah Fernandez Narrates How a Discouraging Childhood Incident Helped Her Reach Where She Is Today

Published 03/02/2022, 7:20 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

19-year-old Canadian sensation Leylah Fernandez recently opened up about one of the childhood discouragements she faced in her school. The 2021 US Open finalist revealed how her teacher’s advice to leave tennis helped her in getting to where she is today.

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Leylah started her 2022 season at the WTA 250 Adelaide International 1. Even though she won her opening round match, she failed to cross the second round, losing to 5th seed Iga Swiatek. The Australian Open was no less for the Canadian as she faced an opening-round defeat to Maddison Inglis. She is currently playing at the WTA 250 Monterrey Open, trying to defend her 2021 title.

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How childhood discouragement helped Leylah Fernandez in her career

Leylah Fernandez has been in talks about her down-trending form lately. However, the Montreal-born player is hopeful to make a comeback at the Monterrey Open. Speaking to a journalist, World No. 21 recently narrated an incident from her childhood. The incident was about how a teacher in her school tried stopping her from playing tennis. Leylah also tells how this incident has helped her in her tennis career.

“There was a teacher who told me to ditch tennis, I would just tell her ‘Thank you for telling me that’, because that just brought more hunger for me to keep pursuing tennis.”

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USA Today via Reuters

Although it may look like her teacher wasn’t the only one who told her to give up playing tennis. However, Leylah to give up her passion and quit the sport by other people. She  told. “She wasn’t the only one who told me to stop but that was the (time) I really remembered.

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Like any other child, Leylah came crying to her mother, narrating the whole story. The advice of her mother became the driving force for the 19-year-old Canadian. Her mother said, “You know what? Don’t listen to that teacher, just prove her wrong.” Addressing her mother’s advice, Leylah said, “I’m glad I am doing just that.”

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After suffering initial round losses at Adelaide and the Australian Open, Leylah Fernandez is in Monterrey, Mexico, to defend her 2021 title at the WTA 250 Abierto GNP Seguros, also known as the Monterrey Open. In the opening round, the 2nd seeded Leylah took down Slovakian player Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. Fernandez will next face Chinese Qinwen Zheng, seeking a spot in the final 8.

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Written by:

Ahmar Wasif

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Ahmar Wasif is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is a national level tennis player and has a number of titles to his name. His experience on the court allows him to incorporate a deeper understanding in his coverage of the sport.
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