Canada’s Fernandez falls into the same category as world number 1 Swiatek at the National Bank Open | CBC Sports

When Leylah Fernandez was pulled into the same category as world number one Iga Swiatek at the upcoming National Bank of England Open, a mischievous smile flashed across the face of the top-ranked Canadian.

The 19-year-old from Laval, Kew, leaned forward in her chair and caught the eyes of ranked Swiatek.

“Hello,” Fernandez said Friday as he laughed at the crowd gathered on the observation deck of the CN Tower for the WTA event draw.

The women’s National Bank Open team will take place at Sobeys Stadium in Toronto starting with the qualifying round on Saturday.

Fernandes will face a qualifying match in the first round of the tournament on Monday, while Swiatek will bid farewell thanks to her high rating. Fernandes, the 13th seed, has not played since sustaining a right foot injury in the French Open quarter-finals.

The Canadian said she finally got the official green light to play again from her doctor the day before the raffle ceremony after weeks of training.

“The timing is flawless,” Fernandez said. “We have tried very hard to get back in shape as quickly as possible.

“But we still need the doctor’s opinion who says I’m fine.”

While Fernandes was hilarious for being in the same category as Swiatek, there is no disparaging the Polish player.

Swiatek set a new record for the longest winning streak of the 21st century, winning 37 straight games earlier this year. She won the French Open and four WTA 1000 titles during that time.

Watch | Swiatek defeats Fernandes at Adelaide International in January:

Swiatek sends out Canadian Fernandez in Adelaide’s Round of 16

Laila Fernandez of Laval, Kuwaiti, fell to world ninth place Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-1, 6-2 in the round of 16 at Adelaide International in Australia.

This back-to-back win catapulted Swiatek to the top of the WTA standings. She noted that she has come a long way since she qualified in the 2019 edition of the Canadian event when it was still called the Rogers Cup.

“Adapting to this situation was very strange because when I was younger, I didn’t really think it was going to happen,” said Swiatek, who had to leave the draw party early to go to training. “It happened very quickly.”

Canadian representation

At least four Canadians will join Fernandez in the tournament.

She will face Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont. , seeded 11th Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in the first round. Rebecca Marino of Vancouver is set to play China’s Chenwen Cheng, and Carol Gao of Richmond Hill, Ont. She will meet Amanda Anisimova of the United States, while Catherine Sepov of Toronto plays Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

More Canadians are taking part in this weekend’s qualifiers and could work their way into one of the four spots in the first round of the main event.

“Every year you see a new player, another young player who will surprise people,” Fernandez said of the depth of the qualifying rounds. “You always hope that the player will do something great next year or the year after.”

World number two Anett Kontaveit, world number three Maria Sakkari and Indian Wells champion 2021 Paula Padusa, Madrid Open champion Anas Jaber, will finish first in the tournament.

Arina Sabalenka of Belarus, American Jessica Pegula and Spaniard Garbine Muguruza took first place from sixth to eighth place, respectively.

The all-time tennis player of all time, American Serena Williams, falls in the same category as Fernandez and Swatic. The 40-year-old, a 23-time Grand Slam winner, will face a first-round qualifying match.

Venus Williams, her 42-year-old sister, will play Switzerland’s Jill Teichmann in the first round. The elder Williams won seven Grand Slam titles.

“There are a lot of great champions in the draw, it’s going to be an exciting week,” Fernandez said.


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