10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Leylah Fernandez Receives San Diego Open Wild Card

Leylah Fernandez of Canada celebrates. EPA-EFE/MIGUEL SIERRA

Leylah Fernandez joins a star-studded San Diego field.

The San Diego Open issued a main draw wild card to 2021 US Open finalist Fernandez of Canada.

The WTA 500-level tournament will be played Saturday, October 8 through Sunday, October 16 at Barnes Tennis Center, 4490 W Point Loma Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107.

Fernandez, a 20-year-old native of Montreal, captured her second career WTA singles title this past March when she defeated Colombia’s Camila Osorio 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(3) to win the WTA tournament in Monterrey, Mexico.

Currently ranked No. 38 in the WTA singles rankings, Fernandez achieved a career-high No. 13 in August this year. In 2021, she won six straight matches at the US Open to reach the final, where she fell to Emma Raducanu of Great Britain 6-4, 6-3.  

“I want to thank Tournament Director Ryan Redondo for the wild card. I’m very happy to be playing in the main draw of the inaugural San Diego Open WTA 500,” Fernandez said. “It’s going to be an exciting tournament with so many Top 20 players entered.

“We’ve heard so many great things about the event and the venue. We’re looking forward to an amazing week of women’s professional tennis.”

Tournament officials also awarded a qualifying wild card to rising American star Emma Navarro, a 21-year-old native of Charleston, S.C., who won the 2021 NCAA singles championship.

A two-time All-American at the University of Virginia, Navarro turned professional earlier this summer and spent most of 2022 competing on the International Tennis Federation World Tennis Tour. She is currently ranked No. 132 in the WTA singles rankings.

Navarro will be familiar with the San Diego Open WTA 500 tournament venue. As a junior competitor, she reached the singles final of the 2019 USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ 18s National Championships at Barnes Tennis Center.

Reigning US Open champion Iga Swiatek of Poland headlines the Hologic WTA Tour event which will feature seven of the Top 10 and 16 of the Top 20 players in women’s professional tennis, including Americans Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula, Danielle Collins, Sofia Kenin and Madison Keys, along with Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic

To view the current tournament player field, click here.

Tickets for the inaugural San Diego Open WTA 500 can be purchased at the official tournament website at: https://barnessdopen.com/tickets-2

The tournament will offer $757,000 in prize money and will have a 32-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw. A 24-player qualifying draw will also be played with six qualifiers advancing to the main draw. Qualifying rounds will be played the weekend of October 8-9. Main Draw matches begin Monday, October 10 and conclude with the singles and doubles final on Sunday, October 16.

The San Diego Open WTA 500 Tournament marks the return of the WTA to San Diego County, which has a rich history of hosting top-level women’s tennis events dating back to 1971. The most recent WTA tournament was played in Carlsbad, Calif., in 2015.

WTA Grand Slam champions who have won titles in San Diego include Billie Jean King, Tracy Austin, Steffi Graf, Jennifer Capriati, Conchita Martínez, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams, Mary Pierce, Maria Sharapova, Justine Henin, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Samantha Stosur.