09. August 2022
Leylah Fernandez is doing everything possible to win NBO singles opener after her 2-month injury.
The 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez made her comeback at the NBO Golf Classic Oman, an event on the WTA Tour, and won her first-round match in convincing fashion. Fernandez defeated Uzbekistan’s Nigina Abduraimova 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the second round where she’ll face off against second-seeded Petra Kvitova.
Fernandez had been out of action since early February when she suffered a left wrist injury that required surgery. She was forced to miss Canada’s Fed Cup tie against Switzerland as a result. But Fernandez looked sharp in her return, winning 83 percent of her first serve points and breaking Abduraimova’s serve five times.
“I’m just really happy to be back on the court and competing,” Fernandez said after the match. “It’s been a tough few months, but I’m just grateful to be able to be out here and playing again.”
Leylah will need to be at her best if she wants to advance to the quarterfinals, as she is set to take on two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. But Fernandez is no stranger to playing top-ranked opponents, as she has already defeated the likes of Garbine Muguruza and Venus Williams in her young career.
“I’m just going to go out there and compete and do the best that I can,” Fernandez said of her upcoming match against Kvitova. “I know it’s going to be a tough match, but I’m just excited to be back on the court and playing.”
Fernandez will need to play a near-perfect match if she wants to pull off the upset, but stranger things have happened in tennis. Fernandez had reached her first WTA final in Guadalajara in April (losing to Zarina Diyas), made the semifinals in Bogota (losing to eventual champion Clara Tauson) and the quarterfinals in Lyon (losing to eventual champion Iga Swiatek).
She had also won two rounds at the French Open before the injury.
After a few weeks of rest and rehabilitation, Fernandez is back on the court and feeling good. She arrived in Nis, Serbia, earlier this week to prepare for her return to action. “I’m feeling good,” Fernandez said after her first practice in Nis. “I did a lot of rehab and I’m just happy to be back on the court, healthy and ready to play again.”
Fernandez will open her campaign at the Nis Open against world No.248 Ivana Jorovic on Wednesday. She is seeded second at the event and is looking to regain some match sharpness before the US Open later this month.
“I’m just taking it one day at a time,” she said. “I want to get some matches under my belt before the US Open. I feel like I’m ready to compete and I’m just going to go out there and do my best.”
Fernandez is currently ranked world No.78. She reached a career-high of world No.68 in March of this year.
Leylah Fernandez is doing everything possible to win her NBO singles opener after a 2-month injury layoff.