She may have been wearing the colour but Leylah Annie Fernandez certainly wasn’t feeling blue as she made Canadian tennis history on Saturday morning.
The 16 year old, No. 1 seed at Roland-Garros had suffered heartbreak just a few months ago when she lost in the final of the Junior Australian Open.
But there was no repeat performance in Paris as the left-handed youngster from Laval, Quebec blazed to a stunning victory over Emma Navarro of the United States to become the first Canadian to win the junior title at the French Open.
ROLAND GARROS: (1) Leylah Annie Fernandez, 16 of Montreal, wins the first set of the junior girls final 6-3 over 18-year-old (8) Emma Navarro of the USA. Fernandez, a lefty, is able to dominate Navarro with bigger hitting from the baseline. The match is on TSN3 in Canada.
— Tom Tebbutt (@tomtebbutt) June 8, 2019
In becoming a Junior Grand Slam champion, Fernandez follows in the footsteps of Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov – both of whom are performing well on the ATP Tour and currently sit in the world’s top 25 having won titles on the junior circuit first.
It’s been a terrific year so far for Fernandez. Her Australian Open final appearance back in January was followed by a call up to Canada’s Fed Cup team to face reigning champions Czech Republic in April. There, the youngster held her own despite losing to Marketa Vondrousova, currently ranked No. 38 on the WTA Tour, in Prostejov.
🇨🇦 (1) Leylah Annie Fernandez defeats 🇺🇸 (8) Emma Navarro 6-3, 6-2 to win the #RG19 Girls’ championship
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) June 8, 2019
In Paris, Fernandez was flawless as she went through the entire tournament without dropping a set and without needing a tiebreak. In the final, the teenager broke Navarro twice in the first set and three times in the second to claim an impressive 6-3, 6-2 victory as well as the trophy.
Her win marked the first time since 2004 that the top seed had won the tournament.
(Feature photo: Mauricio Paiz)