Finding balance in life can be as simple as regularly making time to indulge in an activity of your choice. Yahoo Shopping chats with personalities who share a passion for a sport or wellness activity they enjoy, which helps them conquer the world with zeal. We hope this monthly series will inspire you to find an interest that will add that sparkle to your life.
19-year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez, a professional tennis player from Montreal, Canada, began playing tennis at the age of five. Her career so far has been nothing short of breathtaking. She finished runner-up at the 2021 US Open behind fellow teenage girl Emma Raducanu, defeating three top-five players including defending champion Naomi Osaka en route to the final. She has been ranked 13th by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) since August 2022. She is currently the Ambassador for Lululemon Activewear. Away from the tennis courts, Leylah enjoys spending time at home in Miami with her father, a former professional soccer player, her Filipino-Canadian mother, and younger sister Bianca, who also plays tennis.
What is a sport, fitness or wellness activity that you love and how did you get started?
Tennis is the sport I love and I’ve been fortunate enough to make it my career. I started playing tennis when I was five and did other sports as a kid. My father was a professional soccer player and taught me to play soccer from a young age. However, one day I decided to give tennis a try and fell in love with it the moment I picked up the racquet.
What are its benefits and what do you love about it?
One of the advantages of playing tennis is that it is a sport that you can play your whole life. So many people keep playing into their 70’s or even 80’s. All you need is one bata tennis ball, and a partner to play with. I love that tennis has given me a platform to inspire younger generations and show them that if you work hard and are committed, you can achieve your goals.
How often do you treat yourself and with whom?
I play tennis almost every day and have been since I started competing seriously when I was 10 years old. I love playing with my sister Bianca who is a tennis player and my father who coaches me.
Was there a point where you wanted to give up? Why? how did you get back
As a professional athlete, I regularly face challenges. Whether I’m underperforming/losing in a game, getting up extra early to train, or trying to recover from an injury – something I’m struggling with right now – there are always obstacles to overcome. I like to remember that I’m a role model for younger generations of athletes, including my sister, and that it’s important to show them how to be resilient.
What equipment/tools/clothes do you need or wear when participating in the sport or wellness activity?
I’m wearing Lululemon on and off the pitch during training and competitions. I love her Miracle Train Leggings to the HIIT trainingand i love playing in one of them Tops and the skirts. I wear one occasionally tennis dress also for tournaments. my bat Choice is a Babolat Pure Aero. Gatorade Products are also an essential tool for hydration and energy during games. I love their endurance powder with electrolytes and energy gels with caffeine.
Please let us know what you have learned from this sport or what others would like to learn about it.
Tennis taught me to be independent, to rely on myself and to be resilient. It has also enabled me to make new friends and learn about different cultures worldwide.
As a well-known personality, how do you bring a positive mood to the public?
I try to inspire young athletes and show them that their goals and dreams are achievable as long as they focus and work hard. I also believe in the importance of giving back and helping those in need, and I join brands that prioritize these values as well. After all, my parents raised me to be kind to everyone I meet – opponents on the tennis court, fans and coaches – and I do my best to practice this every day.
Inspired by Leylah? Yahoo Shopping shares more fabulous finds to take you on your tennis journey.
Hard Court Tennis Shoes
Other inspirational fitness reads:
Melissa Th’ng, Malaysia’s first Ambassador for Asia’s Next Top Model, on the secret to staying positive