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The Fernandezes dominate success

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Almost a year ago, Leylah Fernandez reached the final of the United States Open. An unexpected result from the height of his 19 years that changed his life, but also that of his father and coach, Jorge, taking them away from the financial “nightmare” they lived for a long time.

• Read also: United States Open: Leylah Fernandez eliminates compatriot in mixed doubles

“This result gives us much more flexibility, the latter explained to Tree trunk. It has improved its ranking, it helps us to choose the best tournaments. ”

The story of the Fernandez clan has been told many times. The family wasn’t rolling in gold, making it difficult for Leylah to rise to the top of the rankings in this expensive sport.

At one time, Jorge Fernandez skipped meals to make sure his young champion could eat.

“I was satisfied with the lunch at the hotel, he said last year. Sometimes when they had some chips left over for dinner, I would take them. “


The tennis player is seen here in a Lululemon clothing ad.

Photo taken from Instagram

The tennis player is seen here in a Lululemon clothing ad.

“The work continues”

Even last year, when Lavalloise was ranked in the top 80, her father didn’t participate in all of her tournaments. He too was absent from this famous US Open, he also trains his youngest, Bianca.

Thanks to the $ 1.6 million his daughter has pocketed in New York, Mr. Fernandez now travels full time with her. She was there when she won the title in Monterrey, Mexico in March. The only tournament she missed was Cincinnati three weeks ago.

This result also allowed the young left-handed to surround herself with many sponsors. During the current United States Open, it is ubiquitous during television breaks.

It can be seen enjoying a Gatorade drink or even in a subway restaurant advertisement. A few months ago, Leylah also switched equipment suppliers. She now she is dressed by the Canadian company Lululemon.

But despite all the positive that this result brought to the Fernandez clan, the dad points out that the last few months have been a long learning curve.

“The work continues. More tournaments also mean more travel, so less time spent training, “she noted.

“Another thing that has changed, he continued, are expectations. Those of the public, promoters, sponsors. Before it was just us. I have always said that it is easier to lose than to win. Because when you win, it’s like a wave. But you can quickly find the head underwater. “


Leylah is now featured in a Gatorade sports drink commercial.

Photo taken from Instagram

Leylah is now featured in a Gatorade sports drink commercial.

Money can’t buy everything

The Fernandezes have also noticed something else: While it offers more freedom in this ultra-competitive world, money doesn’t buy everything.

Because if Leylah continued to climb the charts thanks to good results – it came in August 13And rank, his summit, was not even a perfect year.

There have been quick defeats, like the one in the first round of the Australian Open.

And also this stress fracture in her foot, suffered in the quarter-finals at Roland-Garros, which deprived her of tennis for eight weeks.

Also, due to her second-round defeat at the US Open, the 19-year-old will drop to around 40And world ranking next Monday.

“We try to keep making decisions as if we have no money, stressed Jorge Fernandez. Instead, let’s try to find the right solutions, because money won’t solve everything. ”


The Subway restaurant chain also recruited the Laval tennis player to promote their sandwiches.

Photo taken from Instagram

The Subway restaurant chain also recruited the Laval tennis player to promote their sandwiches.

His condo in Miami

However, this scholarship and attention from sponsors made their life easier. She allowed Leylah to purchase a condo in Miami near the airport, where she currently lives with her family.

They previously resided in Boynton Beach. Sometimes the Fernandez clan had to drive an hour and a half in traffic to get to training grounds or to catch a plane before a tournament.

“I wanted him to build his credit this way, take financial responsibility,” Fernandez said. But she is a family girl, so she wanted us all to be together. At least for now. Because sometimes I hear her and her sister making plans to live together! “

A year after her final in New York, when she was ranked 73rd in the world and relatively unknown to the general public, Leylah is now one of the most in-demand players in the WTA.

Are you proud, Father Fernandez, to see your daughter’s evolution? Her eyes fill with tears when the question is asked.

“She has changed and I find her very beautiful,” said Jorge Fernandez, repressing her emotions.

“It is special and completely crazy what we are going through. We sail in our little boat through this whole world. I’m happy with his results, but that’s not the important thing for me. It is truly her transformation from a little teenager to a young woman. “

A striking partner rather than a coach


Little Leylah in the arms of her father and coach Jorge Fernandez.

Photo taken from Instagram

Little Leylah in the arms of her father and coach Jorge Fernandez.

When Leylah Fernandez was young, her father Jorge made her a promise. One day, with him as her coach, she would be in the top 30, or even top 20, of the WTA.

Today it can say “mission accomplished”. Although her second round defeat in New York last week will see her drop to around 40 next MondayAnd world-class, the 19-year-old has long since marked about 15 yearsAnd standings this season.

However, it wasn’t tennis that fascinated the younger Mr. Fernandez. It was football, a sport he practiced before becoming a coach.

But, according to him, there are many similarities between the two disciplines. He adds that he learned his tennis skills, earning his WTA certification two years ago.

“I also have resources in Switzerland that help me analyze their opponents,” he explained. I prepare a plan before each game, which I simplify in two or three points. Leylah is used to this very precise process. “

Even a physio

Last year, Jorge Fernandez said he was still interested in adding another manager to the team, to delegate tasks to him and help his daughter progress even further.

He says to always try. But he explains that the clan prefers, for the moment, to surround themselves with a training partner, which is not always easy for a southpaw to find.

Additionally, Leylah’s right foot stress fracture at Roland-Garros forced them to go to a physical therapist, who traveled with them to Toronto, Cincinnati and New York.

Because after eight weeks of inactivity, “he suffered a lot after the games,” Fernandez pointed out.

And every time he mentions the possibility of bringing another manager to the team, he says that he is faced with a refusal from his daughter.

“I am an extremely demanding person, both towards myself and towards others,” he said. I am convinced that if you want to be number 1 in the world – and this is Leylah’s goal – you have no choice but to be like that. “

“It’s not like we don’t have a choice. In fact, he added with a smile, who wouldn’t want to coach Leylah? But we’ve already achieved a lot of what people expected.”

An exclamation point?

After her daughter was sidelined for two months, her father wasn’t expecting great results for the return to hardcourt.

He believes that he is always looking for consistency. But he believes this early departure to New York will allow them to work harder in training.

And, perhaps, to put “an exclamation mark on this season”, with good performances in his next two events, in October in San Diego and Guadalajara.

“I think with all the challenges we’ve faced, we can use these two tournaments to make this year a great year,” he said.

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