Leylah Fernandez, 19, said that many people doubted her and revealed that once she was told by a teacher to leave tennis because she would never succeed. Now, Fernandez is making the headlines as she has made the US Open final.
Fernandez, ranked at No. 73 in the world, beat high-profile names such as Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber, Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka en route to making the US Open final. "I think the obvious one is that a lot of people doubted me, my family and my dreams.
They kept saying no, that I'm not going to be a professional tennis player, that I should stop and just pursue going to school," Fernandez revealed. "I remember one teacher, which was actually very funny - at the time wasn't, but now I'm laughing.
She told me to stop playing tennis, you will never make it, and just focus on school. "You know what, I'm just glad that she told me that because every day I have that phrase in my head saying that I'm going to keep going, I'm going to push through, and I'm going to prove to her everything that I've dreamed of I'm going to achieve them."
Fernandez went through some other challenging things
"But that's basically just the tip of the iceberg. There's many more things that we had to go through as a family," Fernandez continued. "Another example is that my mom had to go to California for a few years to support my family and I in the tennis world.
That few years been definitely hard for me because I needed a mom, I needed someone to be there for me through the age of 10 to 13. I've barely seen her at that time. Every time I saw her, it was like seeing a stranger but at the same time someone so familiar.
"I was just very lucky to have my mom here at this tournament cheering for me and having fun with me all this time. But we've gone through so many things together as a family. I'm just glad that right now everything's going on our side."