Leylah Fernandez Hails Fellow Teenager Carlos Alcaraz as a ‘Right-Handed Rafael Nadal’

Published 09/05/2021, 11:31 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 5, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz Garfia after their round of 32 match REUTERS/Sergio Perez


Many believe a new era of tennis is coming over the horizon, with generational young talent leading from the front. However, with the recent success of youngsters at the US Open 2021, the shift of momentum has well and truly begun. Knocking out former champions and stealing the light from the veterans, 18-year-olds, Carlos Alcaraz and Leylah Fernandez are now the talk of the town.

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Over the weekend, the records book of the game saw two new names etched in them forever. Young Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz shook the tennis world as he beat World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in an unbelievable contest. However, just hours later in the day, Leylah knocked out the defending champion, Naomi Osaka, stealing the spotlight from Carlos.

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Once again, Leylah made history as she beat Angelique Kerber in emphatic style, reaching her first Grand Slam quarter-finals. Post her match, she opens up on the successful run of youngsters at the US Open 2021. Notably, she had quite the praise to offer for her fellow teenager.

A new era has begun

Both Carlos and Leylah have been remarkable throughout the competition so far. Courtesy of their youthful exuberance, they have emerged as fan favorites with their recent success.

Commenting on her fellow youngster, she also had quite the pet name for him. She said, “Well, unfortunately, we did not practice together we definitely do need to have a hit. I remember watching him in the juniors, one tournament, and I’m like just watching a right-handed Rafael Nadal, literally a right-handed Rafael Nadal.” 

As they reached the quarter-finals of the US Open, she opened up on how important the success of the youngsters means for the sport. She said, “Seeing all these teenagers, the youngsters doing so great at the US Open and the other tournaments too, is eye-opening, I think, to the tennis world, because I think there’s not only one group of tennis players but there’s a new wave of young generations that are coming up and they’re trying to make an impact in the tennis game as much as they can.” 

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Leylah Fernandez, the star of the evening

With history at stake, Leylah played the best tennis of her life. In a sheer test of character, she came from behind to topple a former World No. 1 and reach her first Grand Slam quarter-finals. She beat the German sensation, Angelique Kerber, 6-4, 6-7, 2-6.

Sep 5, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Leylah Fernandez of Canada celebrates after her match 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

Moving forward in the tournament, Leylah is one to look out for. However, what remains to be seen is how far her youthful energy will take her in the tournament.

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DIVE DEEPER

Milos Raonic, Kim Clijsters and Others Laud Leylah Fernandez For Upsetting Angelique Kerber at US Open 2021

12 days ago

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Melroy Fernandes

280 articles

Melroy Joseph Fernandes is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. A Mass Media graduate, Melroy has been a content writer for the past 6 years, curating stories for several brands, starting from his own. At the age of 17, Melroy began his writing Journey with Team BIB, an event management company for everything Art and Entertainment.

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