The New York-Leylah Fernandes is a self-described “happy-lucky girl” who spends most of her life in Flushing Meadows, raising her fists, pulling her arms, and raising the crowd while beating the previous two U.S. Open champions to reach her. First Grand Slam semifinals.
On the eve of her 19th birthday, Canada’s unseeded left-hander won the last five matches to end 2016 champions Angelique Kerber 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Sunday, showing that former defending champion Naomi Osaka was sure to defend. It wasn’t weird.
With courage and deceit, as well as an experienced attitude against the backdrop of a large deficit against more experienced opponents, Fernandes is showing a stroke and behavior that Kerber assessed: “It could really go a long way in the next few years.”
How about next week?
Ask Fernandes the secret to her success, and she repeatedly mentions two factors. She is sure to enjoy her time on the court. The second is the support of the family, because her father, who is from Ecuador, her mother, who is Filipino-Canadian, and her sisters are “definitely happy for me.”
She credits her father – who trains her and instructs her in daily phone calls on the way home, taking care of the younger siblings – and a mother – who, along with other family members, greets Fernandes’ fitness trainer in the side seats – a valuable one with nothing to do with tennis. Including teaching a lesson.
He made sure to emphasize this, Fernandes said, “You can’t take things too seriously, you have to be an adult but at the same time just be small, let go, have fun, eat chocolate whenever you want, and just have fun, movie Look, go to bed. “
Two nights earlier, against Osaka at Arthur’s Stadium, Fernandes left the opening set against Kerber at Louis Armstrong Stadium, which was so crowded that spectators were being led to the door.
And against Osaka, Fernandes fell behind in the second set: Kerber took a 4-2 break.
Both times, the 73rd-ranked Fernandes managed to get people in the seats next to her, delighting her with every run, an impossible-angle groundstroke, increasing the winners to 45-28.
Fernandes redirected the opponent’s shots quickly and easily, sometimes dropping to his knees near the baseline to take advantage. Kerber has a very similar style to each other used to reach number one in the rankings and claim three Grand Slam titles.
Kerber, 33, recently played well enough to reach the Wimbledon semifinals in July, but instead of making up for that experience, Fernandes felt the age difference worked out for her as the competition lasted two hours.
“I was honestly tired in the third set,” Fernandes admitted. “But with that thought, I was saying to myself, like, ‘If I’m tired, she should be tired.’
However, in the final set, Kerber took a break point to take a 3-1 lead. Fernandes squandered that opportunity with a cross-court forehand winner. Kerber will not claim another game.
When it was over, Fernandes lifted her arms, then leaned forward to put his hands on her knees and smiled. She stood up and patted her chest on her palm, while Kerber swung around the net and held her hand around Fernandes’ shoulder.
Asked about playing with Fernandes Display’s loose grip freedom, Kerber said, “I really remember that feeling. “I mean, a few years ago.
Now Fernandes, who has only reached the third round so far in just one major tournament, will face fifth-seeded Elena Svitolina in the semifinals. Another women’s match on Tuesday will be No. 2 Ariana Sublenka, who defeated No. 15 Alice Mertens 6-4, 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 against two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza or 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krezhikova.