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June 8, 2019

Leylah Annie Fernandez

Paris, France


6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. After the Australian Open and coming back here, does this feel even more special winning your first Grand Slam?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: Of course this year my goal was to win one junior Grand Slam, and I fell short in Australian Open junior. And I was very happy to be able to have another opportunity here in French Open and to win it.

Q. You faced just about every sort of weather condition here short of snow. What's been the toughest of your matches so far this week? How did you feel you played today?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: I was very comfortable, nervous. But I have worked very hard in Florida with my coach in different conditions, in cold and with the wind, with the heat, so I was prepared.

I was happy that we made the decision to be in Florida and to move, so over here was nothing special with the weather. I was prepared, and I was ready for hard work.

Q. How inspiring is it on the pro tour with Andreescu and Auger-Aliassime proving that path for you?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: It's very inspiring that Bianca was able to win Indian Wells. And it's a bummer she wasn't able to play here in French Open. I wanted to see her and congratulate her with all her successes.

But I'm happy that Denis, Felix, Bianca are able to do everything great and it motivates me to do better for the next couple of years and for the future.

Q. Do you hit with them? Do you know them?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: Yes, I have known Felix for a few years that I have practiced -- not with him but beside him when I was younger. I've seen him with his dad and how hard he works. So it gave me more motivation to really follow him and how he's doing.

Last year I was able to practice with Bianca a few times and played against her. I have seen how everything is, and I'm happy to get those opportunities.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Congratulations. Can you tell us a little bit about your family? Canada? Where do your parents come from? Where do you come from?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: I was born in Montreal, Quebec. My father is from Ecuador, but he moved to Montreal when he was young. He also went to Toronto and back and forth. My mother is from Toronto, but her parents are Filipinos.

So I'm a bit of a mix. I started in Canada. I'm Canadian. I'm happy to be Ecuadorian, as well, and Filipino, and maybe I would like to represent Canada for the Fed Cup.

Q. Do you have any idols? I believe you already played in the Fed Cup. Can you tell us about that experience?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: I like very much Justine Henin, Nadal, Federer, as well as Djokovic. They have different styles, but they always have the same qualities: hard work, fighting spirit, and any point is like it was the last.

And the Fed Cup, yes, it was a great experience. I was able to work with Nathalie Tauziat, Heidi El Tabakh, and Rebecca Moreno and Sharon Fichman, and Gabriela Dabrowski, and they motivated me a lot and made me work harder.

Q. You train with your father as a coach? Do you have any other coaches supporting you?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: Yes, I do train with my father, but the last two weeks when my father went with my youngest sister to Portugal, so Tennis Canada helped me. I had the support of Hugo Di Feo with me, and he told me how he used to manage pressure when he was a junior. And to have Hugo Di Feo, and my father came for the finals, it was great.

Q. Your youngest sister is following your tracks?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: Yes. She's 15. She qualified in Portugal. She went to quarterfinals. So I hope she qualifies in Switzerland for junior Grade 3 so that we can play together the US Open junior.

Q. Can you tell us what you would like to win in the future?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: I'd like to win all the tournaments, all the Grand Slams, all the tournaments in the world. But Roland Garros is very special for me because it was the first Grand Slam I watched on TV. So being able to win here as a junior player is very special for me.

Q. What are your main strengths?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: I believe it's a fighting spirit. I don't let go. All points are important to me from the first to the last. It was like it was the last thing to do. And even though I'm losing, I'm never going to let go.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. Congratulations, Leylah. What feelings do you have now after this final that you just won?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: I'm very happy, because I worked very hard with my father who is my coach in Florida. And after losing in Australia, being able to win here is very special, so I'm very happy.

I hope I can come here again next year but as a pro.

Q. Today you're finishing with your junior stage, as you were saying. Is that the end?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: No, I might play in the US Open junior, but it's true that I would like to go over to pro. I'm going to be able to do Wimbledon and Canada 25,000 and 80,000 and then Rogers Cup.

Q. When serving for the first set today, you were almost broken and then you came back. And in the second set, there was a game that lasted 10 minutes. How nervous were you and how did you manage the nerves?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: As I was warming up before the match, I was very nervous, but my father talked me out of it. He calmed me. He told me that all I had to do was to be happy to be in the finals and to play and just to fight for each point.

In the first set, I was serving for the set and it was a bit long, but I was able to overcome that problem.

And in the second set, I was 1-0 and then I was serving, but she broke again. But it wasn't a problem, because I knew I had won the first set and it was the beginning of the second set, so all I had to do was to fight.

Q. I hear your grandparents are in Salinas in Ecuador so they're going to listen to you. What do you want to say?
LEYLAH ANNIE FERNANDEZ: Thank you very much, Grandparents, for believing in me. And I hope I can go and see you this year and spend some time with you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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