Birthday Special! Leylah Fernandez Meets Juan Martin del Potro at US Open 2021

Published 09/07/2021, 10:46 AM EDT
Sep 5, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Leylah Fernandez of Canada celebrates after match point against Angelique Kerber of Germany (not pictured) on day seven of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


After a long time, it finally seems like the next generation of tennis is here and now. Teenagers Leylah Fernandez, Emma Raducanu and Carlos Alcaraz have broken through at the US Open 2021. Fernandez in particular, has been a revelation. Having recently turned 19, she has carried some brilliant form throughout the tournament. And she received a great birthday gift, meeting Juan Martin del Potro in New York.

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Leylah Fernandez runs into Juan Martin del Potro at US Open

NEW YORK, NY: Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina reacts after winning a game during his men’s Singles finals match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Day Fourteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The young Canadian turned 19 on the 6th of September. On the eve of her birthday, she reached a historic quarterfinal at the US Open 2021. The teenager was barely spoken about before the tournament, but has created a storm ever since it began. Another star attraction at Flushing Meadows this year is Argentine Juan Martin del Potro. Though he is not officially taking part, the former Grand Slam winner is in New York to further his road to recovery.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Breathtaking Tennis From 18-Year-Old Sensation at US Open 2021

The big-hitting del Potro announced that he would be practicing with legendary American John McEnroe at the tournament this year. In addition, he ran into the southpaw on her birthday. It was a momentous birthday present for Fernandez, who plays her quarterfinal on Tuesday. In a recent Instagram story, she wrote “Had the honor to bump into this legend [del Potro].”

Leylah’s dream run at the US Open 2021 continues

The youngster garnered little focus ahead of the competition in New York. She had a relatively easy couple of matches to start, and reached the third round without dropping a set. This is where she faced her biggest challenge yet, in the form of defending champion Naomi Osaka. After dropping the opening set, Fernandez roared back to take the next set after being down a break. She never looked back from there, claiming a sensational win to enter Round-4.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 03: Leylah Fernandez (R) of Canada meets at the net after defeating Naomi Osaka (L) of Japan during her Women’s Singles third round match on Day Five of the US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 03, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

In the last-16, Leylah was came up against another Slam winner in Angelique Kerber. In this battle of the left-handed players, the Canadian came from behind once again. The in-form Kerber had no answers to Fernandez in sets two and three, meaning that Leylah Fernandez entered her maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal on the eve of her birthday. It is turning out to be a marvelous fortnight for the player.

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Up next for Fernandez is Olympic bronze medalist Elina Svitolina of Ukraine. The 5th seed is also in fine touch, and will look to stop the Leylah express. What will be the outcome of this mouth-watering tussle?

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

228 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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