Toronto | Leylah Fernandez had to wait until the last minute before she packed her rackets in her bag and flew to Toronto, where the Quebecer Band will perform in front of many fans, but also in front of family and friends.
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The stress fracture to the right foot suffered by the country’s best player at Roland Garros took longer than expected to heal.
Fernandez was originally scheduled to return to competition this week in Washington, but she had to withdraw from the event.
This could have been the case in Toronto as well. The green light from her doctor the 19-year-old only got on Thursday.
“I was very nervous every time I had an appointment with the doctor,” Leila said at a press conference held on the sidelines of the main lottery announcement.
She frankly explained, “I was trying to stay positive, but I always had a little doubt in my mind, that I could have done a bad move and it could prolong my rehab.”
In recognition of the work of her doctor and physiotherapist, 13e The Toronto favorite said she “quickly went home on Thursday” after learning she could play in front of her Canadian audience.
“I packed my bag and left as soon as possible to catch a flight! I laughed.
Yesterday, at the top of the CN Tower, where the traditional presentation of the painting took place, Laila appeared smiling and frantically as usual.
The past few weeks have been tough for the young player, who had to skip Wimbledon in order to treat her foot.
“I am very happy to be here and to be able to play. My injury has fully recovered and I am really looking forward to this first match,” Fernandes said.
Facing number 1?
Even the unveiling of a portion of the painting – so plump – didn’t cause the original Lavalois to lose her laugh.
Her return to competition will be against a qualifier, likely on Monday. But, from the third round, if they both go there, Lella can slay swords with world number one, Poland’s Eja Swiatek.
We must remember a player who achieved a streak of 37 consecutive victories earlier this season and is currently the undisputed Queen of the Women’s Arena.
Swiatek was also present at the unveiling of the painting, and Quebec gave it a little ” Hello! » [Bonjour !] He laughs when she sees his name appear next to hers.
This will be their second meeting on the WTA, after losing that match 6-1, 6-2 to Lille in Adelaide, earlier this year.
But, after eight weeks of competition, the team achieved 14e A player in the world assures that she is not looking that far at the moment.
“Just getting a few wins here gives me confidence,” she said. And if I get the chance to face Iga it will be a good test and I hope he puts in a good show. »
more patient night
Last year, Fernandez lost in Montreal to Britain’s Harriet Dart.
Then Quebec was ranked 70e. Since then, things have happened in her career: a US Open final, wins against the top 10, a second WTA title, a serious injury, 14th place in the world…
“I’m a different player today,” she admitted. I am more patient, because of everything that has happened in my career. It also taught me to know myself better as a person, not just as an athlete. »
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