Leylah Fernandez news: World No 21 hoping to defend her title at the Monterrey Open this week

WTA Tour
Leylah Fernandez celebrates

Canadian Leylah Fernandez is set to play at the Monterrey Open this week and she’s hoping to defend her title from last year after she defeated Viktorija Golubic in the final in 2021 to win her first WTA title.

The world No 21 is the second seed at the tournament and she’s already beaten her opening round opponent, Anna Karolina Schmiedolova 6-2, 6-2, to progress to the next stage where she’ll either play China’s Qinwen Zheng or Lucia Bronzetti from Italy.

If she’s successful enough to progress through the competition she could face some tough ties including the likes of former US Open champion and recent winner of the Guadalajara Open Sloane Stephens, Maddison Keys and top seed Elina Svitolina, but Fernandez is embracing the challenge.

“I am really happy to be back in Monterrey, it is a very special city for me, it is where I won my first title,” the US Open finalist explained.

“I hope that I am able to defend my title and I hope that I will improve day by day and enjoy my experience on the court like the last few years.

“It motivates me as it is part of the sport and I hope I have more opportunities to defend a title, this is going to be my first tournament and I hope everything will be okay but right now I am not thinking about that, I am focussing on enjoying my tennis.”

The Montreal-born player hasn’t had an amazing start to the season, she only managed to make it to the round of 16 at the Adelaide International and suffered a shock defeat in the opening round of the Australian Open.

But she recently opened up about how a teacher told her to give up tennis when she was younger, but despite her current poor form, she wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

She revealed: “There was a teacher who told me to ditch tennis, I would just tell her ‘Thank you for telling me that’, because that just brought more hunger for me to keep pursuing tennis.

“She wasn’t the only one who told me to stop but that was the (time) I really remembered.

“I came out of the class after school, crying to my mom, she said, ‘You know what? Don’t listen to that teacher, just prove her wrong.’ I’m glad I am doing just that.”

Fernandez’s next opponent at the Monterrey Open with either be Zhang or Bronzetti.