“Humbling to Hear Her Say I Inspired Her”: Eugenie Bouchard on Leylah Fernandez Upsetting Naomi Osaka

Published 09/04/2021, 1:04 AM EDT
Sep 3, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Leylah Fernandez of Canada celebrates after winning a point against Naomi Osaka Osaka of Japan in a third round match on day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports


Defending champion Naomi Osaka crashed out of the US Open 2021 against 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez in three sets. After serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set, the Japanese star got broken, then lost in the third set, 7-5, 6-7 (2), 6-4. All credit goes to the inspired Canadian who played with a sole belief, that is, to win.

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Accordingly, Canadian tennis stars Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard, both out of the US Open due to injury, showed their support for the 18-year-old. Even Leylah mentioned how the former World No.5 Bouchard inspired her game.

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WATCH: Frustrated Naomi Osaka Throws Her Racquet Multiple Times, Receives Code Violation For Ball Abuse

Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard react to Leylah Fernandez’s win over Naomi Osaka

Among the Canadian tennis stars in New York, the 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez was the first one to reach the fourth round. It was her determination and confidence that shut down her opponent, Naomi Osaka.

Sep 3, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Leylah Fernandez of Canada celebrates after winning the second set against Naomi Osaka of Japan in a third round match on day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Consequently, she earned appreciative words from fellow compatriots of the sport. While Raonic wrote, “Congrats, Leylah Fernandez” with a Canadian flag, Bouchard reacted to the teenager’s kind words.

Bouchard wrote, “I saw that! So humbling to hear her say I inspired her. She’s a great player. Go [Canadian flag] tennis!”

Other Canadian players in the contention are Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, and 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu. It would be interesting to see all of them make it to the US Open 2021 pre-quarters.

As for Leylah, she will now take on 2016 champion Angelique Kerber in the fourth round. If she wins against Kerber, she could face Elina Svitolina or Simona Halep in the quarterfinals. Thus, it is an uphill battle for the Canadian from here on at the US Open 2021.

Watch this story: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, and Others Interacting With Fans at US Open

What is next for Osaka after the US Open 2021 disappointment?

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Notably, Osaka has played only nine tournaments, including the Tokyo Olympics. Among these events, she registered a low 18-9 record, including her two walkovers.

Sep 3, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Leylah Fernandez of Canada, right, shakes hands with Naomi Osaka Osaka of Japan after a third round match on day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

However, shattered by her loss, Osaka broke down in tears in front of the press. She even said that she does not know when she will return to court.

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Without a doubt, tennis fans will hope to see Osaka back again soon. Let’s see when and where the four-time Grand Slam champion decides to make her come back.

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Purav Joshi

1118 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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