Leylah Fernandez, a Canadian teenager, completed her incredible US Open run by defeating 2016 champion Angelique Kerber in the quarter-finals. Fernandez followed up her win over Naomi Osaka with a 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 triumph over Germany’s Kerber on the eve of her 19th birthday.
She rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the second set to force a tie-break, and she didn’t let up after that. For a place in the semi-finals, Fernandez will face fifth seed Elina Svitolina.
As her victory was confirmed, Fernandez doubled over and received a standing ovation from the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd.
“I was just thrilled that I was having fun on the court; I’ve been working hard since I first started playing tennis and decided to pursue a professional career.” According to Fernandez,
Fernandez was one of three adolescents to win the US Open, defeating four-time champion Osaka and three-time champion Kerber.
Emma Raducanu of the United Kingdom and Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, both 18 years old, have also advanced to the fourth round, with Alcaraz defeating third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier this week.
Fernandez was born in Montreal and was kicked out of the provincial development programme at an early age, prompting her family to relocate to Florida to pursue employment for her and her sister. Jorge, a former soccer player who turned professional at the age of 13, took up tennis to coach his daughter. Fernandez won the 2019 French Open girls’ singles title and broke into the top 100 the following year as a result of her hard work.
Despite being the youngest player in the main event, she won her maiden WTA title in March in Monterrey, Mexico, and did not drop a single set the entire week. She displayed her courage against Kerber, striking 45 winners and maintaining her cool to reach the quarterfinals.