Leylah Fernandez Matches Multiple Records Including Maria Sharapova, Eugenie Bouchard and Others

Published 09/09/2021, 10:02 PM EDT
Sep 9, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Leylah Fernandez of Canada reacts after winning a point against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus (not pictured) on day eleven of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports


19-year-old Leylah Fernandez upset Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber, and Elina Svitolina to reach the US Open 2021 semifinals. Then, she battled the second seed Aryna Sabalenka for a place in her maiden Grand Slam final. Unbelievably, the young Canadian, Fernandez, kept her dream alive, upsetting the Belarusian Sabalenka 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4.

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The fearless Canadian teenager played some exceptional tennis throughout the tournament. But against the hard-hitting Belarusian, she needed her best.

Fascinatingly, Fernandez won the opening set after coming back from a 4-1 deficit and saving a set point. In response, Sabalenka got the match on level terms, taking the second set 6-4. And so, the most significant tennis set of their young careers transpired in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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WATCH: Aryna Sabalenka Completely Destroys Tennis Racquet During US Open 2021 Semifinals Against Leylah Fernandez

Leylah Fernandez joins Maria Sharapova in a stunning record after reaching the US Open 2021 final

In the decider set, Fernandez put a stunning game to get a 5-4 lead, one game away from the final. Regrettably, the frustrated Sabalenka served two double faults and missed her second consecutive chance to be in a Grand Slam final.

Sep 9, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Leylah Fernandez of Canada celebrates after match point against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus (not pictured) on day eleven of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Consequently, Fernandez became the youngest women singles player to reach a Grand Slam final since Maria Sharapova did in Wimbledon 2004. Incredible stuff for the 19-year-old.

Besides that, she is only the fourth Canadian player to play in a major tournament final. Other Canadians are Eugenie Bouchard (Wimbledon 2014), Milos Raonic (Wimbledon 2016), and Bianca Andreescu (US Open 2019).

Above all, it was the fearlessness from Fernandez that made all the difference in this semifinal. Although Sabalenka started off well and even got the early breaks, she wasn’t mentally there to win this battle.

Who will she play in the US Open 2021 final?

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After a stunning display of physical toughness and mental strength, Fernandez made it into the US Open final. Hence, she is now one match away from adding her name to the American Grand Slam history.

Sep 9, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Leylah Fernandez of Canada waves to the crowd after her match against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus (not pictured) on day eleven of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

In the ultimate battle for the title, the Canadian will face either 18-year-old Emma Raducanu or Maria Sakkari in the final. Irrespective of who makes it through, the tennis fraternity is guaranteed a new Grand Slam champion. 

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Who do you think will lift the US Open 2021 trophy? 

Watch this story: Serena Williams, Pete Sampras, and Others Who Made History at US Open as Teenagers

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Purav Joshi

1146 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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