Leylah Fernandez puts down haters with brutal comment

Fernandez addresses social media abuse and how she deals with it.

by Dzevad Mesic
Leylah Fernandez puts down haters with brutal comment
© Getty Images Sport - Johannes Simon

Leylah Fernandez found a creative way to hit back at her haters and doubters as the Canadian tennis star filmed herself reading some "beautiful messages" while revealing she thinks of those people as "no-lifers" that one can only "laugh at."

Although Fernandez is just 21, she has been one of the best Canadian female tennis players for the past couple of years and she is currently the top-ranked Canadian female tennis player with her ranking of No. 34 in the world. 

But despite making it in tennis early, 2021 US Open finalist Fernandez is also no stranger to being a victim of social media abuse. 

On Wednesday, Fernandez started her French Open second-round match against Wang Xiyu. Through the opening eight games, Fernandez led 5-3 but then the match got suspended due to rain. Since the rain never stopped and Fernandez didn't get to return to the court on Wednesday, she used some of her free time to post a video that was taken during a WTA 500 tournament in Strasbourg last week. 

"As my match got suspended due to rain here at Roland Garros (due to rain) here’s a look into the reality of being a tennis player," Fernandez captioned her Instagram post.

"Win or lose, hate comments are definitely a thing, and it’s not always easy, but I’ve learned how to deal with them as the years have passed (shoutout to my sister for the wisdom! *This was captured after my first round match in Strasbourg which was a BATTLE. Sometimes, I’ll still have hours of “work” after the match is over to make sure I get through my recovery routine, media, etc. Anyways, see you all for the my second round match (Part 2) tomorrow."

Then in the video, Fernandez revealed advice she received from her younger sister Bianca, who is also a pro tennis player. 

"On my Instagram, I'm just reading messages. I won, but still the same beautiful as if I have lost. It's fine. The only thing I gotta do is smile and just enjoy those messages," Fernandez said in the video.

"My sister said it best. That's people who have no life. Laugh at them and that's it. You keep living your life, so that's it. My younger sister has great advice and she's only like 20. I was supposed to be giving her advices, not the other way around."

Fernandez once revealed what doubters were saying about her when she started playing tennis

When Fernandez made her maiden Grand Slam final at the 2021 US Open, she turned 19 just a couple of days prior. At the time, Fernandez was widely praised and recognized as one of the most promising talents in women's tennis. 

But after Fernandez started to deal with some injuries and failed to keep up with strong results, she started to experience criticism more often but also certain comments from doubters, who were claiming her US Open run was just a fluke. 

Then in late 2022, Fernandez appeared in a series, where she addressed dealing with critics and doubters.

“We have actually this one rule, to never ever read an article about myself," Fernandez said in The Real Me series in 2022.

“Even if I do hear a negative comment, it goes from one ear and out the other. I don’t try to dwell on it too much."

In the same series, Fernandez explained how certain people used to mock her body frame and claim that there was no way she would be able to be a big-time tennis player. But then, the Canadian went on to make a Grand Slam final in one of her first Slam tournaments. 

“I think the biggest one was- I’m too short, not fast enough, not strong enough, not powerful enough, and that my tennis game, my style of game will not work against bigger players," Fernandez said at the time.

"Just hearing that has always fueled me, but also my family. Whatever those people are saying, just take it and we are gonna prove them wrong.”

Leylah Fernandez
Leylah Fernandez© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Fernandez overcame Wang after a message posted to haters

When Fernandez and Wang returned to the court on Thursday, the 31st-seeded Canadian served out for the opening set in the ninth game.

Through the opening six games of the second set, not a single break point was seen. But then in the seventh game, Fernandez earned the first break point of the second set and converted it for a 4-3 lead. 

After going up by a set and a break, Fernandez faced two break points in the eighth game but overcame them for a 5-3 lead. With a chance to serve out for the match in the 10th game, Fernandez saved another break point before converting her fourth match point to seal a two-set win over Wang.

After her win, Fernandez shared an Instagram post captioned: "The rain didn’t spoil the party. Onto Round 3."

Fernandez plays Ons Jabeur in the French Open third round.

Leylah Fernandez