Chris Evert recently expressed her admiration towards Canadians Leylah Fernandez and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Leylah Fernandez and Felix Auger-Aliassime participated in the Eisenhower Cup Tie Break Tens exhibition event ahead of the 2023 Indian Wells. The young Canadian duo from Quebec paired up to compete for a $200,000 prize money against seven other mixed doubles teams.
Some of the world’s best singles tennis players, including World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jessica Pegula, Hubert Hurkacz, Aryna Sabalenka and Taylor Fritz competed in the event.
While Fernandez (20) and Auger-Aliassime (22) went down against the Polish pair of Swiatek and Hurkacz in the first round itself, their presence caught the eye of many. Stephanie Myles, a renowned journalist from Quebec, praised the young Canadians for making their mark in tennis and being held in the same regard as the other top players in the world.
“It’s actually pretty cool that two kids from Québec – Leylah Fernandez and Felix Auger Aliassime – are out there teamed up for a mixed-doubles exhibition that features the very best players on the planet. Can’t take that for granted. #dreambig,” the journalist remarked in a tweet.
Tennis legend Chris Evert was elated about the recognition received by the two Canadians, and added that they’re both extremely nice as well.
“And… they couldn’t be nicer!” Chris Evert declared.
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Leylah Fernandez score direct entry to the 2nd Round at Indian Wells 2023
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Leylah Fernandez are all set to commence their campaign at the 2023 Indian Wells tournament. The duo are seeded in their respective categories with the 22-year-old scoring the eighth berth in the men’s category and the 20-year-old securing the 30th seed, giving them a head start in the tournament. They will thus directly contest the second round, with a bye in the first.
Both players, however, have had a dodgy start to their 2023 season. Felix Auger-Aliassime had a stellar 2022 season, in which he lifted his first four titles on the ATP Tour, including three back-to-back titles at the tail end of the year. He reached a career-high ranking of World No. 6 owing to his success. He hasn’t been able to replicate his success from the past year yet, with his best result being reaching the semifinals in Doha.
Meanwhile, 2021 US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez’s wavering form hurt her rankings throughout the 2022 season, and it has carried over into the ongoing season. The former World No. 13’s best result has been reaching the quarterfinals of the ASB Classic. The ongoing Indian Wells will be significant for the 20-year-old, having made the Round of 16 in 2022.
To begin her run, Fernandez awaits the winner of the clash between Emma Navarro and Caty McNally. Whereas, Auger Aliassime is set to face the winner between Spain’s Pedro Martinez and Switzerland’s Marc-Andrea Huesler.