Leylah Annie Fernandez gave Filipino communities across the globe, especially in Canada, something to brag about when she won her first WTA Tour title in Mexico over the weekend.
Mixing her shots so well, Fernandez dominated Swiss qualifier Viktorija Golubic, 6-1, 6-4, to reign supreme at the Monterrey Open, a feat that made heads turn in the WTA circle.
The rising star from Laval, Quebec who is born to an Ecuadorian father and a Toronto mother of Filipino origin, pocketed the $29,200 (roughly P1.4 million) top purse.
A solid baseliner, the 18-year-old Fernandez won 68 percent of the points on her first serve highlighted by two aces. She broke up her rival four times and strung up five games that more than made up for her three double faults.
What made her title win more impressive was that she did not drop a set on the way to the final where she needed just 89 minutes to beat her 28-year-old rival and raise her first WTA trophy.
Fernandez, however, was little sad.
In her interview by Tennis Canada, Fernandez said: “It was just a little sad because my family isn’t here with me and we can’t celebrate as a family. It was a family effort for years.”
“But I was very happy that the hard work, the sacrifices we’ve done since the beginning is paying off and then just hoping that there will be many more and this time my family can be there with me every step of the way in the tournament.”
With her sweet triumph, Fernandez is likely to improve her world ranking – she was ranked No. 88 entering the event.
It was her second final appearance in WTA, falling short in her first attempt to Great Britain’s Heather Watson at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, Mexico last year. She rose to fame when she captured the French Open’s junior title two years ago, becoming the first Canadian woman to win a junior Grand Slam since Eugenie Bouchard in 2012. (REY C. LACHICA)