Leylah Fernandez shows appreciation and respect for greatness of Serena Williams

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Leylah Fernandez shows appreciation and respect for greatness of Serena Williams

2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez admits she is thrilled to see "big legend" Serena Williams returning to action as she has expressed desire to play the American at least once before she retires. Williams, 40, was sidelined for 12 months and there was no indication that she would compete at Wimbledon.

Then, just less than two weeks before Wimbledon, Williams took to Instagram to reveal her intention to compete at Wimbledon. Fernandez, 19, was forced to skip WImbledon due to a Grade 3 stress fracture so she couldn't meet Williams there.

“I was very excited. Tennis has missed her. She’s a big legend,” Fernandez told TSN, per Tennis365. "Just seeing her back on court, competing and giving it her all and not giving up is a true inspiration.

I know that kids and professional players are looking up to her. Hopefully I can share the court with her before she retires. Hopefully that’s not too soon. Hopefully I can play a match against her. I just want to be able to tell everyone that I was able to play a match against Serena Williams.

She’s just legend”.

Fernandez hopes to play Williams

Fernandez, who has been out since the French Open, is set to return to action in Washington in less than two weeks. “It was hard. The first few days, I was very heartbroken.

I was hoping it would just be a sprain or that a nerve got [pinched] or a muscle in my foot had something wrong and it would just be a few weeks, but a stress fracture set us back even more,” Fernandez said. Both Fernandez and Williams have signed up to play the National Bank Open in Toronto.

If both appear as planned, Fernandez could potentially get her first shot at Williams in front of her home fans in Toronto.