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Canadian tennis prodigy Leylah Fernandez had her first major semi-final by defeating Ukrainian Elina Svitolina in the U.S. Open on September 6. Fernandez managed to defeat the Ukrainian player with a 6-3 3-6 7-6 win.

In this Straits Times news, we broke down the latest victory of the newest young tennis champion.

Straits times

Young Prodigy

This achievement is added to her growing roster of champion titles, however it is no surprise that the Canadian teenager can achieve these upset wins. She has defeated four-time U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka with a 5-7, 7-6, 6-4 win in the third round. She also defeated Angelique Kerber with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 upset.

The only thing that is standing in her way to her achievement is the possibility of her to crack under pressure. However, she managed to set aside her fears by dominating the third set tiebreaker with 7-5 to rake the champion spot.

There is no doubt that Fernandez is a formidable opponent and considered as one of the best players who have won a major title. By defeating Svitolina, she may have a desire to have a rematch with the Canadian champion again in the next U.S. Open.

Fernandez has recently celebrated her 19th birthday on September 6. Her recent success is a testimony that she is not just an ordinary teenager. She managed to enter a set of wins that deemed her a darling of Flushing Meadows.

Recent Match

Last Tuesday, the confident player managed to utilize the energy of the crowd and channeled it into her final blow. The tennis prodigy has electrified the raucous crowd at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

Svitolina appeared in the match holding a record of nine match winnings and not having a single quarter-final loss but Fernandez managed to wipe out those wins.

Fernandez intimidated Svitolina at first by denying the 24-year old player with a chance to break her balance. Svitolina however, managed to fight back with more aggression in the second set. She managed to keep a 5-1 advantage to upset Fernandez.

However, as the game progressed, Svotolina managed to dominate the second set. She aced the second set with a balancing win. Fernandez built up her confidence in the third set and managed to electrify the crowd with a mighty response.

During the tiebreaker round, the pressure is built up from the last rounds of the game. Fernandez managed to maintain her composure till the end and ended up claiming the victory against Svitolina. 

Background

The Canadian lefthander was born in Montreal, Canada in 2002 to her Ecuadorian father Jorge who is also a former athlete and a Filipino Canadian mother. She has two siblings, the older who is a dentist and the younger who is also a tennis athlete. Leylah Fernandez can speak English, Spanish and French fluently.

During her junior career, in 2019 she debuted in Australian Open singles game finals, however, she was defeated by Clara Tauson. In June, however, she managed to defeat Emma Navarro in the French Open singles game.

Professional Career

She debuted in the professional scene when she defeated Carson Branstine who is also a Canadian. It was her first professional singles title and happened in the Gatineau Challenger.

Her first professional doubles title win was when she collaborated with Rebecca Marino and managed to defeat Mexican Marcela Zacarias and Taiwanese Hsu Chieh-yu. 

In her first Grand Slam debut, she was defeated by Lauren Davis. In 2021, she raked her first WTA win in a match against Viktorija Golubic. She was deemed the youngest player who won the title who managed to have no single loss in the entire tournament at an age of 18 years old.

Having defeated both senior players, Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber, she is definitely the youngest tennis prodigy.