After recovering from a lengthy foot injury, tennis superstar Leylah Fernandez returned to the 2022 US Open. Perhaps not at her full potential yet due to the long layoff, the stint of the 2021 tournament’s first runner-up was cut short in the second round this year.
But who really is Fernandez? In a video posted by WTA on Twitter last August 28, 2022, the star player sheds light on life outside of the tennis court.
When she was asked where she would want to travel to, Fernandez said that, besides being fond of beach activities with her family, “[she’d] love to go to the Philippines.” She first shared this sentiment in 2021 when she described how much “[she] can’t wait to know more about the culture in the future.”
A Filipino on the side of her mother Irene Exevea, and an Ecuadorian on her father Jorge’s, Fernandez was never shy about discussing her cultural roots. The teen tennis sensation said that she got acquainted with Filipino cuisine through her grandfather, who visits her and her family in Canada.
Fernandez, however, joked that she might not be able to carry the long-held stereotype of all Filipinos as good singers. According to the professional tennis player, “I, unfortunately, have no hidden talents. I would love to say that I’m a great singer, a great dancer, but that is a lie.”
Despite losing to Britain’s Emma Raducanu in 2021, the tennis teen superstar took her defeat in stride and hoped for the next US Open to be “just as good.” She was quoted in a story on WTA’s website that “I’m very happy with myself, with the way I competed, and the play I played, the way I acted on court the past two weeks. I’ve improved a lot not only tennis-wise but emotionally and mentally.”
Recently, Fernandez’s comeback went off to a good start, beating France’s Oceane Dodin. However, her return was ultimately short-lived, as Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova defeated her in the second round last week.
Reuben Pio Martinez is a news writer who covers stories on various communities and scientific matters. He regularly tunes in to local happenings. The views expressed are his own.