2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez described Serena Williams as an “icon” and thanked the American for showing her how to be strong and independent. During her pre-US Open press conference, Fernandez showed major respect and appreciation for who Williams is as a player and as a person.
Williams is retiring after this year’s US Open and Fernandez admitted she would like to achieve at least a “quarter of Williams’ career.” “Serena, I think she has inspired everybody. It doesn’t matter who you are, you know who Serena is.
You know the great things that she’s done. What they did, like, for me, she showed me how to be strong, how to be independent, how to fight for what you believe in, fight for your dreams. Seeing that she’s been doing that since the very beginning of her career, and even now she’s still doing it, it’s so inspiring.
It motivates me more to do that. Hopefully I can achieve a quarter of her career. She’s a legend. She’s an icon. I’m just sad that she has to leave the sport,” Fernandez said, via Sportskeeda.
Fernandez on Williams: A true icon and a legend
“She’s an icon.
She’s a legend. Those are, like, the first few words that come to mind when I think about her. She has done so much for the sport, not only for tennis players, but for women in general. She’s fought for us. She’s done incredible things,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez, 19, also thanked Williams for paving a way for new generation of players. “It’s a little sad to see her leave the sport. But she’s set out a good path for all of the WTA players, even the ATP players, to reach their own goals, voice their thoughts, keep fighting for what they believe in.
I think it’s a great way to leave the sport,” Fernandez added. Unfortunately for Fernandez, she has never clashed Williams. It remains to be seen if Fernandez gets a chance to play Williams in her final tournament.