Sport

Winning Indian Wells debut gave Leylah Fernandez boost of confidence

Winning Indian Wells debut gave Leylah Fernandez boost of confidence

MANILA, Philippines — Leylah Fernandez hardly showed any rust following weeks of no tennis action after her US Open Finals run when she made her Indian Wells debut on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).

Going up against the more seasoned Alize Cornet, Fernandez picked up where she left off and disposed of the French tennister in two sets, 6-2, 6-3.

Testing her mettle with a WTA tour veteran, the US Open finalist said, provided a shot in the arm for her campaign in California.

"[The win] does give me a lot of confidence because Alize she's a very tough opponent," said Fernandez after her win.

"I've watched her play on Tour, she fights for every point, I've practiced with her too, we've had some tough practice matches so I knew that today was going to be hard," she added.

Fernandez will need all the confidence she can get as she battles 9th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in the Round of 32.

And after her Cinderella run at the Flushing Meadows during the US Open, the player out of Canada with Filipino and Ecuadorian roots knows there's a target on her back.

But the 19-year-old is content with celebrating her debut first and hopefully it buoys her deeper into the tournament.

"I'm just glad that I was able to get the win. It gives me confidence moving forward," she said.

Fernandez is also competing in the Women's Doubles tournament with fellow teenage tennis star Coco Gauff.

As of press time, Gauff and Fernandez are battling fifth-seeded pair Demi Schuurs and Nicole Melichar-Martinez in the Round of 16.

Gauff and Fernandez are ahead, 2-0, in the opening set.