Jack Sock and Leylah Fernandez defeated Kim Clijsters and Sam Querrey 7-6(3) in the decisive mixed doubles match to clinch a 2-1 team victory and win the Bea for Kids Champions Challenge at The Heathrow Country Club in Orlando, Florida.
Fernandez, the world No. 40 and the 2021 U.S. Open women’s singles runner-up, overcame a 7-5 upset loss to Clijsters in the singles to re-bound and win her second mixed team title on the Champions Series circuit this year. In September, Fernandez paired with Bob Bryan to win the title at The Greenbrier in West Virginia in September.
Clijsters, the 39-year-old former world No. 1 and five years removed from her induction in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, opened the day’s play with a win over Fernandez, 19 years her junior. After Sock defeated former Wimbledon semifinalist Sam Querrey 6-3 to tie the team score at 1-1, Fernandez returned to the court with Sock to beat Clijsters and Querrey in a tiebreaker which clinched the team victory.
“I’m just super happy to be sharing the court with Jack,” said Fernandez. “It’s always amazing to be beside him, and it’s always fun. He’s very funny and really makes me laugh. I just enjoyed myself playing with him, and I’m also glad I was able to share the court with Sam and Kim, who are legends in the game. They’re amazing people and it was a great day overall.”
After playing with Clijsters during World TeamTennis matches over the last few years, Sock was confronted first-hand by the competitiveness of the three-time U.S. Open champion from Belgium, who even pegged him with a hard volley at one point in the match.
“She’s like my second mom after we played World TeamTennis together, and so I thought we were like family, but clearly not,” joked Sock of Clijsters. “I have a welt right here on my leg. That’s going to feel good in the morning. But she is amazing and a legend of the game. It’s always fun to be around her.”
With the victory, Fernandez and Sock split the first prize of $50,000 while Querrey and Clijsters split the runner-up payout of 25,000.
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InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a Los Angeles based producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Champions Series, a collection of tournaments featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, The World Series of Beach Volleyball and numerous corporate outings. Since inception, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment has raised over $5 million for charity. In 2014, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment merged with Horizon Media, the largest privately held media services agency in the world. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or ChampionsSeriesTennis.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.