‘Fought for Us’ – Canadian Star Leylah Fernandez Pays an Emotional Tribute to Retiring Serena Williams Ahead of US Open 2022

Published 08/28/2022, 7:50 AM EDT
Sep 9, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Leylah Fernandez of Canada serves against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus (not pictured) on day eleven of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Since Serena Williams announced her decision to leave tennis earlier this month, she has been the talk of the town. Canadian tennis sensation Leylah Fernandez, in her pre-tournament press conference for the US Open, praised Serena’s incredible career.

The 19-year-old Canadian, who is a part of the young trio that includes Emma Raducanu and Coco Gauff, has proven that age is just a number as she made it to her first Grand Slam final last year at the US Open.


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Fernandez admires the legendary Serena Williams

The rising star claimed that Serena Williams, among other things, has inspired her to fight for her goals. Fernandez, who was the finalist at the US Open 2021, believes Serena Williams has strongly supported the rights of women everywhere, not just in tennis.

Veteran U.S. tennis player Serena Williams returns a ball during her match against Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic during the National Bank Open in Toronto, Ontario, Canada August 10, 2022. REUTERS/Cole Burston

When asked about Serena, she said, “She’s an icon. She’s a legend… She has done so much for the sport, not only for tennis players but for women in general. She’s fought for us. She’s done incredible things. It’s a little sad to see her leave the sport.”


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Further, Fernandez further spoke about Williams’ retirement. She said, “But she’s set out a good path for all of the WTA players, even the ATP players to reach their own goals, voice their thoughts, keep fighting for what they believe in. I think it’s a great way to leave the sport.”


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Serena will be against Danka Kovinic in the first round

The 2022 US Open‘s first round will see Serena Williams facing Danka Kovinic for the first time in her career. The 23-time Major champion, who plans to retire after the US Open, will encounter the World No.80 in the first round on Monday, August 29. 

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Kovinic, who is 27 years old, has yet to make an impact on the tour as she hasn’t yet won a championship. Her best performance came when she placed second at the Charleston Open last year. While Serena is a six-time champion at Flushing Meadows, the Montenegrin has never gotten past the second round. However, considering Serena’s poor form leading up to the tournament, Kovinic will certainly have her chances during the match.

Who will make it through to the next round?



Pratishtha Prakash

593 articles

Pratishtha Prakash is a Tennis Writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and Journalism from MIT ADT University, Pune. Being a sports enthusiast, she has a keen interest in tennis, cricket and esports.

Edited By: Tony Thomas