Canadian star Leylah Fernandez has been cleared to play in next week’s National Bank Open in Toronto after missing more than two months with a stress fracture in her right foot.
Fernandez injured the foot during the French Open. The pain reached a crescendo in the quarterfinals on May 31 when she lost in three sets to Italy’s Martina Trevisan.
The 2021 U.S. Open finalist said it has been a tough time emotionally as she had to keep her foot immobilized and wasn’t able to have her usual active lifestyle.
“A few days ago when I did get the green light from my doctor, that was the best hour and a half of news that I could ask for,” Fernandez said during a press conference on Saturday. “I’m just excited to be back to compete.”
Fernandez, 19, is ranked 14th in the world. However, she knows she is short on time to get into prime condition for the U.S. Open, which begins on Aug. 29 in New York.
“The timing is impeccable,” Fernandez said. “We’ve been trying extremely hard to get back into shape as quickly as possible.”
Fernandez made a sensational run at last year’s U.S. Open before falling to fellow teen Emma Raducanu in the title match.
Fernandez has won two WTA titles, both coming in the Monterrey Open in Mexico.
Fernandez, who is seeded 13th in Toronto, will play her first match against a qualifier. She is on the same side of the draw as top-seeded and World No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland.