US Open: Leylah Fernandez continues incredible run as teenage sensation makes semi-finals

By Sports Desk September 07, 2021

Leylah Fernandez carried on her brilliant form to clinch a place in the semi-finals of the US Open with a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) victory over Elina Svitolina.

The newly turned 19-year-old has put her name into the history books with a wonderful run at Flushing Meadows, dethroning the defending champion Naomi Osaka and three-time grand slam winner Angelique Kerber on her way to the quarter-finals.

Fernandez's streak will not stop there, and she will now play for a place in the final after overcoming world number five Svitolina in a tense tussle at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Svitolina was the first to blink as Fernandez broke to nose ahead in the first set, which she took in 40 minutes.

Yet the 2019 US Open semi-finalist struck back in set two, saving three break points to serve out the set.

The Canadian made a brilliant start to the decider, only to concede serve immediately after nudging herself into the lead.

Fernandez rallied herself to break again and Svitolina looked beaten, with the youngster on the verge of the semi-final at 5-2 up.

Once again, however, Svitolina found some resolve, reeling off three consecutive games and forcing a tie-break.

Despite Svitolina seemingly finding a second wind, it was Fernandez who raced into a 4-1 lead, only to once more be pegged back.

Svitolina found another ace to make it 5-5, but a passing shot from Fernandez clipped the net to evade the Ukrainian, who then sent a return long – to the jubilation of the crowd – that sealed a stunning triumph for Fernandez, who collapsed to the court in tears.

Data Slam: New ground for another teenage sensation

Fernandez turned 19 on Monday and celebrated in incredible style a day later. It is her first grand slam semi-final, as she hunts what would just be a third Tour final overall (and a second title after her Monterrey success this year). She will need to cut down on her unforced errors (31), and she only hit one ace compared to Svitolina's eight, but in what was just her second third-set tie-break, Fernandez showed maturity well beyond her years. Next up, it is Aryna Sabalenka or French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Svitolina – 32/25
Fernandez – 42/31

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Svitolina – 8/3
Fernandez – 1/5

BREAK POINTS WON

Svitolina – 4/6
Fernandez – 4/10

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