"Something that every little girl dreamed of" - Leylah Fernandez takes trip down memory lane, recalls first career title, US Open runner-up finish and more

2022 US Open - Previews
Leylah Fernandez pictured during a press conference at the 2022 US Open.

Leylah Fernandez looked back on some of her favorite moments encapsulated in photos in a video posted by the WTA on its social media accounts.

Fernandez, who lost to Emma Raducanu in the 2021 US Open final, chose some special memories to share – from spending Christmas with her family and picking pumpkins with her sister to winning her first professional title and reaching her first Grand Slam final in New York.

Choosing a photo in which she was holding her US Open runner-up trophy, the Canadian ace said that it was a special moment that she, as a little girl, dreamed of. She had a few words to say, too, to the younger version of herself.

"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," said Leylah Fernandez.

With a little self-belief, that little girl who dreamed of winning the US Open eventually won her first professional title in the $25,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event in Gatineau three years ago. It was a double victory for Fernandez, who also took home the women's doubles crown with partner Rebecca Marino.

"That was a few years ago when I won my first 25K. I won singles and doubles so it was a special week. I truly believed that I was able to play against these players and just improved, and then seeing the results were coming in made me more and more confident," she said.

The Canadian also shared photos of fun times spent with her family, starting the video with a photo of herself with her dad at Christmas.

"That is probably one of my favorite pictures. I don't even know how old I was. It was around Christmas. We were hanging around in the living room. I was just hugging my dad and my mom came out with the picture. We were both smiling and hugging so it was fun," she stated.

Fernandez's dad, Jorge, hails from Ecuador while her mom, Irene, is a Canadian born to Filipino parents.

"I was just working harder so hopefully, one day, I could share the court with her" - Leylah Fernandez recalls doubles partnership with Simona Halep in 2019 Rogers Cup

Leylah Fernandez pictured at the 2021 US Open.
Leylah Fernandez pictured at the 2021 US Open.

Leylah Fernandez got the opportunity to play alongside two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep when she was chosen by the Romanian to be her doubles partner in the 2019 Rogers Cup.

Halep saw a kindred spirit in Fernandez, who also won the Roland Garros juniors title just like her. Fernandez, then only 16 years old and playing at her second WTA main draw event, recalled how Halep was "extremely nice" and helped in making her transition to the tour easier.

"I had the opportunity to play with Simona and she was extremely nice. She was so nice, made it very easy for me to get used to the court and the competition in the WTA. I think ever since then, I was just working harder so hopefully, one day, I could share the court with her," Leylah Fernandez said.

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Edited by Anirudh
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