Leylah Fernandez, a 19-year-old Canadian, will take her to the final of the historic US Open. The world’s second-ranked Alina Sabalenka is Fernandez’s latest victim. The teenager defeated in three sets (7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4) in the semi-finals on Thursday. After her, she entered her first Grand Slam final.
After starting the game as a non-seeded, Fernandez, ranked 73rd, beat the two top five seeds of defending champions Naomi Osaka and Elina Svitolina, as well as former Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber, and shocked the world. Fernandez is the youngest woman since the 17-year-old Serena Williams achieved two top five seeds in 1999.
Fernandez defeated Sabalenka of Belarus, which allowed her to defeat the top five seeds for the third time in an incredible way. This victory is of great significance to Fernández and her country, because the only Canadian woman to reach the U.S. Open singles final is Bianca Andrescu in 2019.
Fernandez will play the 18-year-old British player Emma Radacunu in the final on Saturday, who defeated the Greek No. 17 Maria Sakari. Raducanu, who is almost as impressive as Fernandez, has defeated four top 50 opponents in Flushing Meadows.
After her semifinal victory, Fernandez attributed her victory to New York fans.
“They cheered for me, they never gave up,” Fernandez said. “They never gave up on me. They fought for me. Thanks to you, I was able to win.”
Sabalenka is the player who has won the most WTA championships this year, and he participated in the competition as a big favorite. She is looking for her first Grand Slam final, but Fernandez has other plans.
“I don’t know how I did it,” Fernandez said when asked how she won.
The U.S. Open women’s singles final is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m.