“My Dad Used Steve Nash as An Example”: Leylah Fernandez Credits NBA Legend For Inspiring Historic US Open 2021 Victory

Published 09/09/2021, 10:10 PM EDT
Sep 9, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Leylah Fernandez of Canada serves 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


With the semi-finals of the US Open up and running, tennis fans from all over the world tuned in for yet another showdown. Headlining the action tonight was Canadian sensation, Leylah Fernandez. The youngster met Belarusian international, Aryna, in an enticing clash, battling for a place in the all-important Finals. With history at stake, who would get the better of the other?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

19-year-old Leylah has been the talk of the town, courtesy of her youthful exuberance. Despite her age, she’s played with sheer maturity and dominance on the court, knocking a few greats en route to the top. Not far behind, Aryna has been equally good at the Flushing Meadows this year. Gracing the courts with her experience and unorthodox style, she beat World No. 9 Barbora Krejcikova in the quarter-finals.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Now, as the two giants locked horns, sparks went flying all across New York. Notably, as victory unfolded for one, she highlighted the presence of a fellow sports entity that inspired her to be the athlete she is today.

All praise for Steve Nash

Once again, Leylah played her best tennis possible as she beat Aryna in an unbelievable match. Both the WTA athletes left no stone unturned in their bid to outplay the other. However, carrying forward her sensational run in the tournament, the youngster cruised into the finals of the tournament, beating Aryna in a highly entertaining 3-setter.

Notably, as she reflected on her magical moment, she opened up on how the presence of a former sports great added to her win. Seated in her box next to her family was Canadian basketball legend, Steve Nash, cheering on the 19-year-old. Opening up on her feelings, she said, “I remember when I was younger, my dad used him as an example, and told me I had to work hard like Steve Nash. Hopefully we can have a tennis match soon.”

Leylah put on a show, dominating the game right from her first swing. Notably, she put the Belarusian under immense pressure, winning the first set in style. However, Aryna came to life in the second set, taking the game to Leylah and toppling the youngster, despite her early break-through. It was game on at the Arthur Ashe stadium.

WATCH STORY: Top Seeds Naomi Osaka, John Isner, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Others Who Faced Huge Upsets at US Open

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Well done Leylah Fernandez

Aryna used her experience to her best, making a comeback in the match. Not only did she win the second set, but she won the crowd too who roared every swing and a miss from thereon. However, unphased by that, Leylah continued on her quest for greatness.

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

Leylah walked into the finals, making a stunning comeback in the third set. With that win, she became the youngest player to reach a Grand Slam final since Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004. As she now fights one last time, for the title, all fans will surely be rooting for her. Can the youngster do the unthinkable, or will she sink under pressure?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

“Canada Opened up It’s Doors” – Father of Leylah Fernandez Chokes up While Speaking on Early Struggles

13 days ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT