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January 18, 2022

Leylah Fernandez

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

M. INGLIS/L. Fernandez

6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Not the result you wanted today. Take us through your match.

LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: Well, today was just not a good day. Too many mistakes. I'll give credit to Maddie. She played a great match from beginning to end. I unfortunately did not find the right solutions to get back in it and to make it to a third set. It happens.

Q. Did you feel okay in your lead-up to this tournament? I know you pulled out of one event before; how were you feeling physically before the match, and were you feeling confident going into it?

LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: Oh, I was feeling great. Physically and mentally I was feeling good. I was actually excited to play.

Like I said, it was just not my day today.

Q. During your off season, what did you do to kind of take stock of everything that happened in the last few months of the season, and what was the mindset approaching this one?

LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: You know, after the season, we took some time off. We wanted to have a little bit of time away from tennis, focus more quality time with the family, which that definitely helped. That put me in the right mindset to start the preseason at full swing.

We had a good preseason. We worked hard. We improved my tennis game. Unfortunately it did not show today, but it happens.

Just leading up to these tournaments, I was just extremely happy with how I was progressing and how I was practicing.

Q. What would you say is the hardest part of getting back out on the Grand Slam stage after your last time on that stage in New York?

LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: That's a good question. We try to -- for me personally, I try to start every day at zero, thinking that out on the tennis court it's a 50/50 chance for both players, and just to work hard and find solutions as best as I can before the end of the match.

Today was just one of those days that I did not find the right ones, and Maddie just played a good tournament -- well, not tournament, good match. Now it's just get back on the practice court, get ready for the next tournament and the next match and see how it goes on the next Grand Slam.

Right now it's just keep working hard, keep finding solutions and improving my tennis game.

Q. It's not very often that new apparel brands come into the sport. What does it mean to you to be the first person to be sponsored by lululemon?

LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: It means a lot. I'm extremely proud and happy to be wearing lululemon on court. They're a great brand. They have great quality, great values, too. I can see how much work they put into their clothes, how much quality they put into it. I'm super happy to be working with them.

They're also Canadian, and I love representing Canada on and off the court. And I'm happy that I can represent them on the court with lululemon.

Q. In terms of trying to find solutions today on the court, if you think back on it, is there one specific thing that you think back and say, Oh, if I had done just that better, like returns, forehand, movement in the corners, whatever it was, that you think could have made a really big difference today?

LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: You know, I wouldn't know because the match is over right now. I can't go back in time. The only thing I can do right now is get back on the tennis court and put in the hours, work hard and just improve in every aspect.

Today was just a bad day in the office. The solutions that I was trying to come up with, I was making mistakes and just wasn't a good day today.

Like I said, the only thing I can do is just get back on the tennis court, practice and get ready for my next match over here.

Q. Curious whether you and Emma ran into each other at all here in Australia and had any conversations about, Hey, that was pretty amazing what we both did a few months ago in New York.

LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: Unfortunately we did not. We're both super busy, and our practice hours are a little bit everywhere. It's hard to cross paths when there's so much things to do.

But we did just briefly say hi, happy new year, and then that's pretty much it because we're both on the go everywhere. It's hard to kind of stop and have a conversation.

Q. Was that in Melbourne Park?

LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: Yeah, it was here in Melbourne Park.

Q. What did you know about Maddison? How do you prepare for a player like that that hasn't been around very long?

LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: Well, I know Maddie is a very, very good player. She works hard. She fights for every point. She runs for every ball. She's a great all-court player. Unfortunately I just did not play well. She played a good match today, and that's it.

Q. You had seen her play a bit before?

LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: Yeah, I have seen her play a little bit before. I've also seen her play in the ITFs Pro when I first started, and she plays a good tennis.

Like I said, she runs for every ball. She fights for everything.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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