US Open 2021 Semifinals – Leylah Fernandez in Finals: Leylah Fernandez is off to her first-ever Grand Slam final as she continued her fairytale rise, beating No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the semis. The 19-year-old Canadian made it to her first-ever Grand Slam final as she sealed a thrilling 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 win – Follow all US Open LIVE Updates with InsideSport.co
It was the 73rd-ranked Fernandez’s fourth consecutive three-set victory over a seeded opponent. First came No. 3 Naomi Osaka, the 2018 and 2020 U.S. Open champion. Then came No. 16 Angelique Kerber, the 2016 champ. That was followed by No. 5 Elina Svitolina and Sabalenka.
In Saturday’s final, the left-handed Fernandez will face either another unseeded teen, 18-year-old qualifier Emma Raducanu of Britain, or 17th-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece. Neither of them has participated in a Grand Slam title match, either.
US Open 2021 Semifinals: 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez’s fairytale run continues, beats Sabalenka to reach US Open final
US Open 2021 Semifinals – Leylah Fernandez in Finals: The 19-year-old has made heads turn in whats has been a stunning season at Flushing Meadows, as the Canadian continues to stamp her authority in New York. Sabalenka marks the latest of the big upsets she’s pulled off, as the World No. 73 has gone past the likes of Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber, Elina Svitolina before her win on Friday. She will take on the winner of the second semi-final, where another teenager Emma Raducanu faces off against Maria Sakkari.
Heartbreak for Aryna Sabalenka: Sabalenka suffered further semi-final heartbreak as the No.2 seed was defeated in what was an action-packed contest against Leylah Fernandez. The 19-year-old Canadian made it to her first-ever Grand Slam final as she sealed a thrilling 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 win. The win was the World No.73’s biggest win of her career, and added on to her impressive list of upsets at the US Open 2021, having defeated the likes of Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber, Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka to reach the final.
Fernandez suffered an early scare when Sabalenka pulled off a break, but the Canadian showed maturity beyond her age to bounce back and take the game to the tie-breaker. She then showcased her ruthless streak to eventually clinch the first set, piling pressure on the world No.2 seed. To her credit, Sabalenka bounced back and clinched the second set, to force a decider for a place in the US Open finals.
Leylah raced 4-2 ahead with another break but risked undoing all her hard work after allowing Sabalenka to restore parity at 4-4. However, the 19-year-old then held her serve, before sealing the final break to ensure her place in history and the US Open 2021 final.
LEYLAH FERNANDEZ HAS DONE IT!
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 10, 2021
- The 19-year-old creates, history, seals the break to win 7-6, 4-6, 6-4
- Leylah Fernandez holds her serve, is one break away from the US Open finals.
- Sabalenka holds her serve, a tantalising finish is on the cards as scores remain level at 4-4.
- Sabalenka isn’t done yet, as she cuts down the advantage with a break to 4-3. Will serve to go level in Set .
- The 19-year-old seals a pivotal break goes 4-2 ahead as she closes in on US Open 2021 final.
- Fernandez keeps her poise and goes 3-2 ahead on her serve, the match hangs in the balance.
- Fernandez threatened to break, but Sabalenka kept her nerve to make 2-2.
- Fernandez holds her serve as Sabalenka comes charging at her, leads 2-1.
- Leylah and Sabalenka both hold their serves as the decider kicks off at 1-1.
- The Belarusian pulls off a comeback to stay in the game as action shits to Set 3. 6-7, 6-4
- Sabalenka shows her class, breaks at a pivotal moment. Will serve for the set.
- Leylah and Sabalenka both hold their next service games to make it 4-4.
- Sabalenka restores parity at 3-3, as the second set hints at another dramatic finish.
- Fernandez holds her serve, wins three straight games to go 3-2 up.
- Fernandez breaks to level set 2 at 2-2, seizes momentum as Sabalenka struggles to remain in the contest.
- Fernandez holds her serve to reduce the deficit as Sabalenka threatened to run away with an early lead. 2-1.
- The Belarusian holds onto her serve to go 2-0 ahead, as he aims to force a third set and stay in the fight for a place in the final.
- Sabalenka knows the stakes and isn’t messing around, breaking in game 1 of the second set.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 10, 2021
- Erroneous Sabalenak hands Fernandez the advantage, who obliges and takes the first 7-6 (7-4)
- Fernandez forces tiebreaker having saved a set point to level 6-6.
- Sabalenka goes ruthless on her serve to go 6-5 up, Fernandez will serve to stay in the set.
- Fernandez holds her nerve as Sabalenka comes close to breaking, but the teenager holds her serve to level scores at 5-5.
- Sabalenka holds her serve, goes within a break of wining the first set, leads 5-4.
- Fernandez wins three straight games in a row to claw right back into the contest, with set 1 evenly poised at 4-4.
- Sabalenka closes in on Set 1 win with yet another dominant serve, goes 4-1 ahead.
- The teenager whoever in typical fashion responds to win her first game of the semi-final.
- Sabalenka starts off in fine fashion, winning her first two service games while breaking Fernandez’s first serve to go 3-0 up.
What they said: Leylah Fernandez vs Aryna Sabalenka
“It’s nothing to lose for her. She’s fighting for every point. The crowd are there and they are supporting her really loud,” said Sabalenka post-match.
“I was practicing today, and we didn’t really need to watch the score because we heard … the crowd really yelling,” she added.
“Honestly after my [first WTA singles title in February] in Monterrey, I was training well, playing well,” Fernandez said as quoted by WTA.
“Just a few bad matches here and there. I always went back to work. Went back home to work harder, try to improve my game. I was glad that every match that I played, I was improving little by little. Today, or this whole few weeks, I was able to showcase all the sacrifice I’ve made the past year so that I can get to this point,” she added.
Road to semifinals
- Beat Krejcikova 6-1, 6-4
- Beat Mertens 6-4, 6-1
- Beat Collins 6-3, 6-3
- Beat Zidansek 6-3, 6-1
- Beat Stojanovic 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-0
- Defeated Svitolina 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(5)
- Defeated Kerber 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-2
- Defeated Osaka 5-7, 7-6(7), 6-4
- Defeated Kanepi 7-5, 7-5
- Defeated Konjuh 7-6(7), 6-2
US Open 2021 Semifinals: 18-years-old Leylah Fernandez vs Aryna Sabalenka- Follow LIVE updates
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