Leylah Fernandez named Tennis Canada Female Player of the Year

December 22, 2021
Leylah Fernandez named Tennis Canada Female Player of the Year


Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., has been named player of the year, singles player of the year and most improved player, according to Tennis Canada.

Gabriela Dabrowski of Ottawa was once again named doubles player of the year, while Victoria Mboko of Burlington, Ontario was named junior player of the year.

The men’s honours will be announced on Wednesday.

“Tennis fans around the world will never forget Leylah’s incredible run to the U.S. Open final,” said Tennis Canada president and chief executive officer in a news release. “Her post-match speech showed us a player more mature than her age and left no one indifferent.”

WATCH | Leylah Fernandez, father join CBC Sports to discuss her breakout year:

Leylah Fernandez, father join CBC Sports to discuss her breakout year

Canadian tennis star Leylah Fernandez along with her father and coach Jorge Fernandez join CBC Sports’ Vivek Jacob to look back on the year that was, discuss their relationship on and off the court and look ahead to the 2022 tennis season. 14:18

Fernandez is the recipient of the Player of the Year award for the second time in a row. In 2021, the 19-year-old has had a tremendous season on the WTA Tour, including winning her first title in March in Mexico at the Monterrey tournament. She also played an important role in Team Canada’s 4-0 win over Serbia in the Billie Jean King Cup playoff in April with two singles wins.

However, it was her thrilling run to the U.S. Open final that will always be remembered. At Flushing Meadows, Fernandez stunned the world by defeating four seeds, including three top-five players — Naomi Osaka, Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka — to reach the championship match before falling to Emma Raducanu. Fernandez finishes the year ranked No. 24 in the world, a personal best.

Dabrowski, who reached No. 5 doubles for the first time in her career in October, has been on a roll again on the WTA Tour. The 29-year-old has made four WTA finals and was a semifinalist at the U.S. Open. Along with partner Luisa Stefani, the Canadian captured top honours in the doubles event at the National Bank Open with a win in the final over sixth-seeded Andreja Klepac and Darija Jurak Schreiber.

Finally, Mboko is ranked No. 32 in the ITF junior rankings despite being 15 years old and has collected three titles in 2021 — in Tashkent, Santo Domingo and Las Vegas — in addition to making three other finals.

WATCH | Fernandez captures 1st WTA title at Monterrey Open:

Leylah Annie Fernandez claims 1st career WTA title

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., defeats Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic 6-1, 6-4 in the final of Monterrey Open. The 18-year-old did not drop a set for the entire tournament. 5:22


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