Out of superstition, Leylah Fernandez’s father will not attend the final

NEW YORK | Jorge Fernandez will not attend the final of the International tournament of the United States which will pit his daughter Leylah, of which he is also the coach, on Saturday in New York, against the Briton Emma Raducanu out of superstition, because he fears to disrupt habits which have worked well so far.

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“No, I won’t be there. I am extremely superstitious. My daughter is too ”, explained during a conference call this former Ecuadorian professional soccer player, who took charge of his daughter’s tennis career when she was seven years old, without knowing much about it. sport.

“I use the same shampoo on game day, I wear the same jeans, the same socks and the same underwear. This is nothing new. You tie your laces a certain way. Leylah and I, when we find something that works, we don’t touch it, ”said Jorge Fernandez, who will watch his daughter play from his home in Florida, as he has done since the start of the fortnight.

He knows that 19-year-old Leylah, who has nevertheless dismissed three of the five best players in the world, including the latest winner Naomi Osaka, will have a hard time facing Emma Raducanu, 18, the first player from qualifying to reach a final. of the Grand Slam.

“She’s going to play against another warrior. I don’t think age or ranking should matter. This is a final. You have to give it your all, you have to make sure that no matter how it ends, there are no regrets, ”he said.

He bitterly remembers the last time he was present in the stands, for a final involving his daughter. “It was in Acapulco last year and she lost. I hated myself for a good two months afterwards. People would say to me: “Come on, it’s just a game, she went to the final”. But deep inside, it was “No, I shouldn’t have come. I shouldn’t have been there.”

“It’s really a matter of superstition. She knows that I support her from afar. I am in her heart and she is in mine. Everyone who has seen her in the stadium is fantastic. But I’m going to look at her across my kitchen table, where we usually dine, and we’ll be fine, ”he concluded.


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