Leylah Annie Fernandez recalls setting alarm for 2012 AO men’s final

Rising Canadian star Leylah Annie Fernandez, 18, has revealed that she looked up to former world No. 1 Justine Henin.

“I looked up to Justine Henin, she is an amazing player. Her game is very similar to Federer’s, but on the women’s side. Also, I watched a lot of Big 3 matches – Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal,” Fernandez told Tennis Majors.

Henin won seven Grand Slam titles in singles during her career. 

“When I saw her play, mostly on YouTube, it looked like art to me. The way she was opening up the court, it was just a thing of beauty how she is able to create something out of nothing. I was instantly very attracted to her game and I am always trying to produce as much of that as I can in my game,” Fernandez added. 

Fernandez watched the 2012 Australian Open final 

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal played one of the most memorable Grand Slam finals of the century at Melbourne Park in 2012. 

Back then, Djokovic edged out Nadal in five sets, in a match that lasted over five hours. 

“I do remember watching Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic playing like the longest match ever at the Australian Open. I set my alarm early that morning in order to watch that final, and I just did not fall asleep, that was a really memorable match. I also remember the Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Djokovic, as well as Nadal’s matches at Roland-Garros,” Fernandez said. 

Fernandez is enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 69 in the world but she acknowledged that there are many things she would like to improve. 

“That is a very good question because right now I have a list of things I need to work on to get to the next level. I would say maybe my forehand, to make it a little more precise and faster. Hopefully I can do it, but like I said, there is a whole list of things. Also, there are aspects of the game that I am good at, but I need to become even better,” Fernandez said. 

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