Leylah Annie Fernandez has big goals for the 2022 WTA season. She wants to crack the Top 10. She wants to qualify for the WTA Finals. And, more importantly, she wants to win a Grand Slam. Those are big goals for any player, but for Fernandez, whose 2021 saw her climb over 60 spots in the ranking and almost win her first Grand Slam, well, they don’t sound so farfetched.
The tennis star, who kicked off her first tournament of the season, the Adelaide International, by beating Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3, 6-4 and setting up a second-round duel with No.9 Iga Swiatek, spoke to WTA Insider about her off-season and her goals for 2022.
For Fernandez and her team, it was especially important that she take some time off to recharge after the season. And she did just that. She attended her older sister’s wedding. She took a vacation. And when she touched the tennis court, it was just to be her younger sister’s hitting partner as Bianca Fernandez competed in a tournament in Ecuador.
As for her stated goals, Fernandez made it clear that she was setting the bar high for herself because, if you don’t, you don’t really believe in yourself. But, despite the big goals, at the end of the day, success isn’t just about winning.
“But I define success as me enjoying the sport, enjoying my time on the tennis court. As a team, we don’t want to lose that happiness working together. We want to keep that smile, keep that joy for the sport and then finish the year healthy, physically, mentally and also emotionally. That’s success for me.”
Follow Leylah Fernandez in the Adelaide International, as she competes in both the singles and doubles category.