17-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez says her goals for 2020 include remaining healthy and breaking into the Top 100 of the world rankings. In an interview with the WTA, Fernandez talks about her goals for 2020 and says, "To be healthy mentally, emotionally and physically throughout the whole year would be great.
To finish Top 100 on the WTA. Just to be consistent every tournament, win a few rounds, get into the quarters and semis of tournaments would be awesome to achieve that goal." Fernandez reached the final of the Australian Open junior event in January and won the Roland Garros junior singles title in June, which helped her become World No.
1 in September. "At the French Open junior final, the conditions weren’t on our side. It was windy, it was raining. But that match was very important to me, I really wanted a Grand Slam [in] juniors, and I got it, so I was super happy about that."
She also won her first WTA Challenger title in Canada in July and says she loves playing in front of her home crowd. "It was great to have the crowd with me, and they were there the whole way, so it was awesome. Playing in Canada is special.
The community [in Quebec], I feel like it’s a lot closer and stronger. When there’s someone from Quebec who has good results, they will always come and support, and be behind me, and give me more momentum going into a match”.
Fernandez will play her first Grand Slam event on the professional circuit, at the qualifiers in Melbourne - that is something she says she has been looking forward to for a long time. "Since I was very young, I’ve always wanted to play in the Grand Slams, in the big stadiums and playing in front of a big crowd.
Being in the qualies of the Australian Open is one of the dreams that come true for me. So just going there and having fun and imposing my game and getting a few rounds under my belt, that would be amazing”. The Canadian also says the rise of compatriots like Bianca Andreescu, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov has given her confidence that she can also win Grand Slams and achieve bigger things in tennis.
"To have Bianca Andreescu, Felix, and Denis do well on the WTA and ATP Tours is great for Canadian junior tennis in Montreal, Toronto, anywhere. They gave us confidence that, yes, we can win Grand Slams, we can go to bigger tournaments, so it’s great. They put big steps forward for us to believe that we can do more. They’ve helped us."