Leila Annie Fernandez has emerged as the newest star in tennis in Canada, playing in the US Open final on Saturday.
Also read: Fernandez drops in US Open final
Her career and future exploits will inspire a whole generation of future Canadian tennis players, now to Bianca Andreas, Felix Agar-Aliassim and Denis Shapovalov, 22-year-old Maple Leaf representatives and those who have surpassed the WTA and ATP Top 30, Fernandez next.
The 19-year-old became the third Maple Leaf member under the age of 10 to reach the Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon in 2014 and the Grand Slam tournament final in 2019 at the US Open in 2019.
“In fact, these results motivate participation – most of us young people – admitted Eugene Lapierre, vice president of tennis Canada in Quebec, joined by phone in New York because he attended the Fernandez match. This is what we hear from young people who want to emulate Denise and company, and this is what we want to see.
“It helps promote tennis,” said Sylvain Bruno, chief of the Tennis Canada Women’s Program. We see more and more people who are already playing tennis or not playing tennis, which is a small culture that has started to develop in the country. There is an excellent tradition and young people who want to play tennis have the opportunity to dream of anything, at any competitive level, or to take a racket and turn it into a sport of entertainment. Already cool.
“We see natives doing great things and there is no longer a barrier, everything is allowed. There is nothing complicated about being a Canadian on the international tennis scene. On the contrary, we should be applauded.”
While Bouchard, Andreas and Fernandez share a similarity, they all reached the Grand Slam tournament final at a very young age. 20 for Bouchard and 19 for the other two.
This success is often accompanied by recognition and pressure to perform well at every event, which can be dangerous for some athletes, especially in terms of mental health.
“We see this not only with our athletes, but we see it with all kinds of athletes and in other sports as well. Lapierre said: “In other sports, we’ve seen it with Jonathan Droin and the Montreal Canadians.
⁇[Les athlètes] It will be more accessible to the general public and it will bring stress. […] They became international stars overnight. To achieve big success in New York, as Leila did this week, her name [maintenant] Worldwide. She is expected to play in Paris, or Buenos Aires, or Beijing. It changes lives. “
However, Lapierre recognizes that organizations such as Tennis Canada have a specific role to play in preparing athletes well to deal with these types of situations, especially the level of social networks.
However, people need not worry about Fernandez.
“Is she going to continue to be the same athlete, to train so hard and keep her passion for the sport?” I’m definitely, definitely, definitely yes, Bruno mentioned. Because of his entourage, I’m sure it will not change anything. She’s not like hitting a wave and surf. She takes advantage of what happened to happen faster and faster. “