World number 24 Leylah Fernandez has been one of the stars of women’s tennis this year, climbing 64 places in the WTA rankings. The Canadian won the WTA 250 Monterrey Open and finished second at the US Open.
Leylah Fernandez also became the third Open Era Woman to beat three of the top five seeds at Flushing Meadows. For her accomplishments, Leylah Fernandez received the 2021 Bobbie Rosenfeld Award from the Canadian Press.
Sports writers across Canada voted to decide on the award for best female athlete of the year. Last year, the award went to footballer Christine Sinclair who became the all-time top scorer in international matches.
Leylah Fernandez is the sixth tennis player to receive this award. The last tennis player to win the award was former 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu. Other women on the list are Carling Bassett-Seguso (1983, 1985), Helen Kelesi (1989, 1990), Aleksandra Wozniak (1990) and Eugénie. Bouchard (2013,2014).
The 18-year-old received 12 of 45 votes cast this year to finish ahead of swimmers Penny Oleksiak (10) and Maggie Mac Neil (10).
Fernandez said she felt honored to be around women she admired. She thanked them all for contributing so much not only to their own sport, but to the world of women’s sport as a whole.
“I am very honored to be one of those athletes who have done so much for women’s sport and even outside of their sport,” said Fernandez. “I saw how many [last year’s winner] Christine Sinclair accomplished. I am honored to have my name right next to his.
Fernandez also took to Twitter to thank everyone who supported her on her memorable trip to 2021.
“Wow. Thanks for all the support this year,” Leylah wrote on Twitter.
Leylah Fernandez also won Tennis Canada’s 2021 Sportswoman of the Year award.
Earlier this month, Fernandez received Tennis Canada’s Award of Excellence for Best Player of the Year.
In addition, she also received the Women’s Singles Player of the Year award and the Most Improved Female Player award for the 2021 season from Tennis Canada.
Michael Downey, President and CEO of Tennis Canada, congratulated Leylah Fernandez on her congratulations via the Canadian Press. He was convinced that more young people will be inspired by his achievements to play the sport in the future.
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Leylah Fernandez is the real deal, ”said Downey. “She will inspire the next generation of young players across the country for the rest of this decade and beyond. “