2021 US Open: Leylah Fernandez stuns Svitolina to reach semis
Canada's Leylah Fernandez, on Wednesday, reached her maiden Grand Slam semi-final with a stunning victory over seed fifth seed Elina Svitolina at the US Open. The teenager won 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) in what turned out to be an emphatic battle. She has become the third Canadian to qualify for the US Open semi-finals. This was Fernandez's third career Top 5 win.
How did the match pan out?
Both Fernandez and Svitolina were neck-to-neck in the first set. The Canadian got the better of Svitolina eventually. Svitolina bounced back in the second set, reeling off four consecutive games. Fernandez was trailing 2-5 in the deciding set. However, she made a turnaround and took the match to tie-break. At 6-5, Svitolina lost the match with a backhand forced error.
A look at the stats
Despite losing, Svitolina struck eight aces in the match. She won 99 points, while Fernandez claimed 42 winners. The former clinched 40% of the receiving points (39/98). On the other hand, Fernandez won 79% of the net points. She recorded five double faults.
Feats attained by Fernandez
Fernandez has become the third Canadian to reach the semi-finals in New York after Carling Bassett-Seguso (1984) and Bianca Andreescu (2019). The former is also the youngest semi-finalist at the US Open since Maria Sharapova in 2005, who was 18 back then. Fernandez is now the youngest active player to reach the last four of a Grand Slam.
Fernandez is 22-15 in the ongoing season
Fernandez, the 2019 junior Roland Garros champion, won her maiden WTA title earlier this season in Monterrey. Fernandez trounced Viktorija Golubic in the final. She won the championship without dropping a set in the entire tournament. However, she struggled to win back-to-back main draw matches before the US Open. Fernandez has a win-loss record of 22-15 in the ongoing season.
Fernandez will face Aryna Sabalenka in the final
Fernandez now has an amazing opportunity to reach her maiden Grand Slam final. She will face second seed Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-final. Sabalenka defeated eighth seed Barbora Krejcikova 6-1, 6-4 in her quarter-final clash. She hasn't dropped a set since her first-round win against Nina Stojanovic. Notably, Sabalenka and Fernandez are yet to meet in the WTA series.