Leylah Fernandez and Cori Gauff will meet in an exhibition match in Atlanta, the Atlanta Open announced. Fernandez, 20, and 19-year-old Gauff will clash against each other on July 23 - the day before the start of the Atlanta Open.
Last year, Fernandez and Gauff were scheduled to meet in an exhibition match in Atlanta.
In case you missed it: Coco is coming back to Atlanta and will play Leylah Fernandez on Sunday, July 23 🙌 .
🎟️ https://t.co/25RJdXp0UF | Delivered by @UPS pic.twitter.com/dsCmPwNH3s — Atlanta Open 🎾 (@ATLOpenTennis) May 5, 2023
Unfortunately for all parties, the match didn't happen because Fernandez suffered a foot fracture at the French Open and the Canadian was out of action for the next two and a half months. Now, the Atlanta Open organizers are hoping both players stay healthy and meet this year in an exhibition match.
Why the Fernandez-Gauff exho didn't happen in Atlanta last year?
During her French Open quarterfinal match against Trevisan, Fernandez suffered a Grade 3 stress fracture in her foot. Fernandez ended up missing the entire grass season, as well the Atlanta exhibition against Gauff.
"Hey, guys. So I just wanted to give you a quick update. While my foot is recovering, I am following my doctor's orders, which are that I will not be able to compete for the next coming week. So, I'm very, very sad to say that I will not be in Atlanta.
And even though it's heartbreaking for me, I hope that everyone — the fans and the players — will enjoy their time at the tournament and I want to wish Coco good luck. Bye. See you next time," Fernandez said last July.
Even though Fernandez was evidently bothered by a foot injury against Trevisan, she refused to retire the match. Later, Fernandez revealed she initially didn't think of her injury as something serious. “I felt a pinch in my third round match and I didn’t think anything of it.
I thought it would be a normal little nick on my foot, but then as the week progressed it was getting worse and worse. In my last match, and even the day before, it wasn’t that great. We were hoping it would be good for the quarterfinals, but it did not go well.
It was a sharp pain. At first it was a pinch and then afterwards it was a sharp pain. It was hard to put my foot down and then it was just hard to walk normally," Fernandez explained last summer.
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