Here is a look at Leylah Fernandez journey to the US Open finals. She defeated the best female tennis players in the world to secure this spot.
19-year-old Leylah Fernandez started her onslaught straight from the beginning of the tournament. In the 1stand 2nd rounds she took out her opponents in straight sets.
In the 3rd round, she faced Naomi Osaka. Leylah who lost the first set 5-7, responded by winning the 2ndset, 77-62. In the 3rdset she ended Naomi’s vie for the grand slam title, by taking the set 6-4.
In the round of 16, former world number 1 Angelique Kerber, was Leylah’s next target. Leylah won 66% of points on her first serves and 61% of points on her second serve. In the end Leylah won the match 6-4, 65-77, 2-6.
Leylah then had to take on world number 5, Elina Svitonlina. After battling top players in the previous rounds, commentators started speculating that Fernandez would begin to physically and mentally slow down due to fatigue. However, Fernandez proved them wrong winning the match, 3-6, 6-3, 65-77.
After playing 3 games back to back which all required her to play three sets against top players, she was now required to take on world number 2, Aryna Sabalenka, in the semi-finals.
This match pushed Leylah to her limits, but she showed great resilience which ultimately led to another victory. The score was 77-63, 4-6, 6-4.
Unfortunately, this brilliant run for the Grand Slam title was abruptly ended by 18-year-old Emma Raducanu, who won in straight sets.
The skill and variation Leylah brought to the tournament was unique. She is a left handed player and being a lefty, makes serves and returns more unpredictable.
It could be said that the more experienced players just underestimated her and when it came time for them to adjust after realising the level of tennis she was playing; it was just simply too late for them to.