Runner-up in the US Open Hearing fans sing her name at the Indian Wells Masters was “surreal,” according to Leylah Fernandez.
Fans in the crowd cheered Fernandez’s name as she played her first match since her amazing US Open campaign on Friday.
Fernandez, who is now ranked No. 28 in the world, defeated Alize Cornet 6-2 6-3 to go to the third round of the Indian Wells tournament.
“It’s surreal. You dream of that happening, but you don’t expect that to happen …
“I got goosebumps. Like, even now, my heart is beating so fast … I was so happy,” Fernandez said.
“Leylah! Leylah! Leylah” was the chant at @BNPPARIBASOPEN last night— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) October 9, 2021
🇨🇦 Fernandez: “It’s surreal. You dream of that happening, but you don’t expect that to happen … I got goosebumps. Like, even now, my ♥️ is beating so fast … I was so happy …”https://t.co/WqAA4sxrr2
“Everything (laughs) … We always try to look for that extra inch, extra millimetre to be better …
“We worked on everything,” Fernandez stated.
Meeting Sharapova was a dream come true for Fernandez
“I was lucky enough to meet Maria Sharapova at the Met Gala. We kind of chatted a little bit and she gave me some pretty good advice.
“She told me her own experience and the way that she was able to bounce back,” Fernandez told.
Meanwhile, Iga Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, gave Fernandez and US Open champion Emma Raducanu some guidance.
“Well, I would say balancing all the things you have to do on-court and all the things that you’ve been doing for the past years with all that new stuff,” Swiatek said.
“Because it can overwhelm you at the beginning. It was good for me that Roland Garros was the last tournament of the season. I know that Fernandez and Raducanu probably have one or two more.
“Then they’re going to have a break and they’re going to have time to reflect on their success.
“Also having the people around you who won’t be pushing you to do more because of public relations or publicity. Just you know maybe staying calm a little bit and waiting for how you will react to all of that.”