Leylah Fernandez pulls off yet another upset against Svitolina
Leylah Fernandez’s magical run is still ongoing with another win against a top-tier opponent. She beat world number five Elina Svitolina to reach the US Open semifinals. She is the youngest player since Serena Williams to beat two players ranked in the WTA Tour’s top five.
A day after she turned 19 years of age, Leylah pulled off another upset win. When she beat Naomi Osaka earlier in the US Open, most people were surprised that she won. However, fans and pundits believed that her run to the top was only a red herring because the other top players would take over.
Svitolina was the obstacle in her way and most people favoured the world number five. In one of the most heated matches of the event so far, Leylah managed to win a 6-3. 3-6, 7-6 (5) victory. This was an amazing accolade for the young Canadian as she has won over two former US Open champs and now a win over Svitolina.
This rapid rise is reminiscent of what Emma Raducanu did at Wimbledon. Since the Briton has also performed at a high level in this event, you can expect that more people are looking into teenagers and their potential to become tennis’ top stars.
Leylah was surprised by what happened during the match. She said, ‘I honestly have no idea what I’m feeling right now. Throughout the whole match, I was so nervous. I was trying to do what my coach told me to do. Thanks to the New York crowd, cheering me on, fighting for me and never giving up, I was able to push through today. Svitolina, she’s a great player, she fought for everything, she runs for everything. I’m honoured to have a fight with her’.
It was a special performance from the youngster as she worked hard to reach the ball and she used her youthful energy to earn the win. She was already a crowd favourite before this match against the world number five but support for the young Leylah became even stronger during this match.
It should not be a surprise that Leylah will be a player who has a target on her back in the future.
Words: Cholo Martin