Fed Cup

04/07/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/07/2021 11:13

Fernandez looks to Pep Guardiola as Billie Jean King Cup stage awaits

Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez has long since studied the regimes, tactics, mentalities and philosophies of competitors and teams from the wider sporting world in search of an edge.

Perhaps it is those extra couple of per cent here and there - the much-vaunted marginal gains - which have helped propel the 18-year-old to a career-high ranking of No. 72 and fuelled dreams of an Olympic debut at this year's Games.

Her latest study matter, observed through the Amazon Prime documentary All or Nothing: Manchester City is Pep Guardiola, an innovative coach who is renowned for his devastating possession-based attacking football.

'I really like Pep and his style is like my tennis game so I'm learning from him,' said Fernandez.

'Pep is a very demanding coach, but the way he builds his team is amazing, as is his tactical planning. Manchester City are always offensive and forward-looking, have ball possession - 60-70 per cent in most matches - and their number of passes is incredible.

'I can see how much they open up the field and how much they try to pick holes and work it. When I put that together with tennis, I am an offensive player, I am trying to find the holes on the court, open it up and hit winners where I can.'

Guardiola is not the first to be scrutinised by Fernandez, with the teenager previously analysing the likes of Lionel Messi, Mike Tyson, Sidney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky, Isaiah Thomas, Pele and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The remainder of the article, which first appeared in the spring 2021 edition of ITFWorld, can either be read here or by clicking the page below.