US Open '21: Fernandez Into Final
Updated: Oct 13, 2021
Canadian 19-Year-Old Continues Dream Run
LEYLAH FERNADEZ defeated ARYNA SABALENKA 7-6,4-6,6-4
The dream continues for 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez as she defeated Belarussian world number two Aryna Sabalenka in three sets on center court at Flushing meadows in three sets.
Fernandez showed composure beyond her years to win a first-set tie break. Then she backed it up to recover from dropping the second set only to bounce back to win the final set and book a place in the US Open final in a stunning upset.
She becomes the second 19-year-old to compete in a US Open final in three years, after Bianca Andreescu in 2019. Along with that accolade, she is also the youngest player to defeat three top 5 players at a grand slam event since none other than the one and only Serena Williams did it back in the '99 US Open.
Clearly, a crowd favorite, the New York crowd rallied around the Canadian to help her overcome a shaky start where she found herself 4-1 down. It was an incredible comeback from the teenager as she reversed that 4-1 deficit to a 7-6 first set victory against the world number two.
The second set saw Sabalenka get a foothold back in the match, as she won the second set 6-4. It was short relief for the Belarussian though as the Candian hit back to win the all-important third set by the same scoreline.
Stunned at making her first grand slam she had this to say on court immediately after her win:
“That’s years and years and years of hard work, and tears and blood, everything, on-court, off-court sacrifices,” Fernandez said on court after her victory. “I just wanted to be in the final. I really wanted it. I fought for every point. Aryna fought for the same thing. I don’t know how I got that last point, but I’m glad I did.”