Leylah Fernandez asked if she, Emma Raducanu can 'return to highest level'


Leylah Fernandez asked if she, Emma Raducanu can 'return to highest level'
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Leylah Fernandez thinks Emma Raducanu is "great for the sport" and expressed hope to see herself and her 2021 US Open final opponent return to the highest level of tennis. During the 2021 US Open women's tournament edition, tennis history was made when an 18-year-old Raducanu became the first-ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam.

In that year's US Open final, Raducanu defeated Fernandez 6-4 6-3, who turned 19 just a few days prior. At the time, Raducanu was ranked around No 150 and Fernandez was ranked around the 70th place. Since the 2021 US Open, Fernandez has gone through some really tough periods but last week in Hong Kong won her first title since 2022 March.

On the other side - after dealing with injuries and poor results over a longer period - Raducanu underwent surgeries on both wrists and her right ankle in May.

Fernandez on if she and Raducanu can 'return to the highest level'

“Well, 2021 was a special tournament for both of us, we both did extraordinary things not many people get to experience.

I was able to beat a couple of top-10 players, ex-champions. Emma, she came through the qualifying, so we both had to go through some difficulties, and afterwards, I think it was hard on both of us adjusting to the new life.

But at least for me, I tried to surround myself with a great group of people. I know Emma is working hard, I know she is hungry, she has something to prove, so I’m sure she’s going to come back and play some great tennis.

Hopefully, we do see her because she is great for the sport. She has got something special for the WTA and for women’s tennis. Hopefully, we can both compete at the highest level once again side by side," Fernandez told the South China Morning Post.

Meanwhile, Fernandez won the Hong Kong title last week after beating Katerina Siniakova in the final. For Fernandez, it was her first WTA title since winning Monterrey in early 2022. After winning Hong Kong, Fernandez admitted that the win meant so much to her considering the difficult times she went through.

Leylah Fernandez Emma Raducanu Us Open