Leylah Fernandez has teamed up with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the doubles of the Dubai Tennis Championships. The Canadian paid tribute to her doubles partner as the pair reached the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Fernandez and Mattek-Sands began their partnership at the ASB Classic in January. The pair reached the finals of the tournament where they were defeated in the third-set tie-breaker. They reconvened at the Australian Open but were unable to repeat their success as they lost to Beatriz Haddad Maia and Zhang Shuai in the first round.

At the Dubai Tennis Championships, the two defeated sixth seeds Luisa Stefani and Anna Danilina in the first round. Subsequently, they defeated Xu Yifan and Aliaksandra Sasnovich 3-6, 6-1, 13-11 to book their spot in the quarterfinals.

Leylah Fernandez celebrated the achievement with an Instagram post thanking Mattek-Sands for her patience, guidance and positive spirit.

“I appreciate you. Thank you for your patience, guidance, and positive spirit,” Fernandez captioned the post.

The nine-time Grand Slam doubles champion thanked Fernandez for her words and complimented her positivity and determination. She added that the pair should continue to show fans that being competitive and having fun can go hand in hand.

“Leylah!!! You are so sweet!!! AND inspire me with your own positivity, mindset and determination!!! Team work makes the dream work… and let’s keep showing that you can compete AND have fun!!,” Mattek Sands commented on the post.

The American also praised Fernandez’s “fiesty and fierce” spirit as the pair saved four match points en route to the quarterfinals.

Leylah Fernandez was defeated by Iga Swiatek at the Dubai Tennis Championships

Leylah Fernandez started her campaign at the Dubai Tennis Championships with a 6-4, 6-2, win over Julia Grabher in her opening match. She was up against an enormous challenge in the second round in the form of World No. 1 Iga Swiatek. The Pole registered a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Fernandez in just 72 minutes on the court.

In her post-match interview, Swiatek said that the match was tougher than the scoreline suggested and that she had to elevate her level in the second set. The World No. 1 mentioned how the courts in Dubai played similarly to the ones at the Australian Open where she crashed out in the fourth round so she was glad to be able to play good tennis.

“It wasn’t that easy for sure. It was much tougher than the score said. In the second set. … I needed to go a level up. I didn’t have much time to get used to the conditions, but I’m just happy I could play solid tennis,” Swiatek said.

Leylah Fernandez and Bethanie Mattek-Sands will take on Liudmila Samsonova and Veronika Kudermetova in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.