World number 24 father and coach Jorge Fernandez, Jorge Fernandez, has revealed that there was a time when no one believed the Canadian could be a successful tennis player. However, he never stopped believing in her.
In an interview with CBC Sports, the 2021 US Open runner-up and her father looked back on the Canada’s breakthrough year and discussed how their personal and professional relationships overlap.
In response to criticism of the relationship between athletes and parents, Jorge pointed out that there was a time when everyone gave up their daughter’s professional future. But he was the only one who continued to believe in her. That’s why he’s still Fernandez’s coach.
“People need to understand that I was the one who believed in her when no one really believed in her, when people thought she was too small and weak and she had no game.
Leylah Fernandez repeated the same sentiment, saying that her father was not only a good coach, but also her greatest supporter. She also noted that just looking at her father during the games is enough to fill her with the certainty that everything will be fine at the end of the day.
“He knows exactly what to tell me before a game, what to look for in training, and then he’s my greatest support,” said Leylah. “He gives me strength and every time I look at him I know that I have the confidence to do anything and tackle any problem,” she added.
“I’ve been trying to quit since Leylah was seven” – Jorge Fernandez
Jorge Fernandez confessed that being both a coach and a parent is not easy as the two emotions are sometimes contradicting. He admitted his desire is to find Fernandez a full-time coach, adding that the Canadian will have one very soon.
“I’ve tried quitting since she was seven. She knows that all I do is be independent in the near future, ”said Jorge. “I will always be part of her team but the goal is for her to have her own coach,” he added.
Despite interviewing a number of coaches, Jorge regretted that they have not yet had to find a suitable coach compatible with the vision he and Leylah Fernandez share.
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“We start talking about philosophies, goals, how to see the family, the business, Leylah and sometimes we just don’t go together,” said Jorge. “Even though we are very professional, it just doesn’t fit together,” he added.