Tennis Hall of Famer Kim Clijsters defeated Leylah Fernandez during the Champions Series event at Heathrow Country Club in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday. The event included a men's singles match, a women's singles match, and a mixed doubles match in the event of a tie.
In the women's singles encounter, the 39-year-old Belgian upset current World No. 40 Fernandez 7-5. In the men's singles, Jack Sock defeated Sam Querrey 6-3.
In the deciding mixed doubles showdown, Sock returned to the court with Fernandez to beat four-time Grand Slam champion Clijsters and her partner Querrey 7-6(3)
In the post-match on-court interview, Leylah Fernandez expressed her delight at being able to share the court with Sock, Clijsters, and Querrey.
"I’m just super happy to be sharing the court with Jack," Fernandez said, adding, "It’s always amazing to be beside him, and it’s always fun. He’s very funny and really makes me laugh. I just enjoyed myself playing with him, and I’m also glad I was able to share the court with Sam and Kim, who are legends in the game. They’re amazing people and it was a great day overall."
Meanwhile, Jack Sock heaped praise on Kim Clijsters, calling her a "legend" of the game who is "fun" to be around.
"She’s like my second mom after we played World TeamTennis together, and so I thought we were like family, but clearly not. I have a welt right here on my leg. That’s going to feel good in the morning. But she is amazing and a legend of the game. It’s always fun to be around her," Sock said.
"That was a special moment, something that every little girl dreamed of" - Leylah Fernandez on reaching the 2021 US Open final
Leylah Fernandez enjoyed a fantastic run at the 2019 US Open. Her campaign, however, came to an end in the final when she was defeated by British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu.
In an interview with the WTA, the Canadian recalled the "special moment" and said she had dreamed of it since she was a kid. She also had words of encouragement for her younger self.
"That was a special moment, something that every little girl dreamed of. I dreamed of it, that little girl from back then. Just, like, telling that little girl that everything's okay. You see, you achieved your dreams. Just keep going a little bit more. One day, you'll be there," Fernandez said.