Leylah Fernandez, 73rd player in the world, achieved another feat by knocking out Elina Svitolina in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) in the US Open quarter-finals on Tuesday. The Canadian nugget reached the semifinals at just 19 years old. Leylah Fernandez become the tournament’s youngest semifinalist since Maria Sharapova in 2005.
We don’t stop Leylah Fernandez anymore. After eliminating two former world number 1 and Grand Slam winners, Naomi Osaka (No.3) and Angelique Kerber (No.16), the Canadian, who celebrated her 19th spring on Monday, offered herself a new prestigious victory by overcoming Elina Svitolina (N ° 5) after an intense and spectacular fight (6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5)).
The Ukrainian had spent 3 hours 12 minutes less on the court before approaching her quarter-finals. But, the Quebecer of Ecuadorian and Filipino origins has not suffered the slightest physical decline. Quite the contrary. After two quiet first serve games, Elina Svitolina folded under the opposing aggressiveness. With both feet in the court, Leylah Fernandez got the first break point at 3-2 thanks to a canon return.
On a rally of 24 racket strokes concluded with her forehand, the Canadian took the lead on the scoreboard. With 13 winning points (against only 4 for Svitolina), Fernandez took advantage of this single break in advance to win the first round without having to defend a single break point.
Svitolina took the lead in the second run
Elina Svitolina had never managed to win a Grand Slam quarter or semi-final after losing the first set in six attempts. Each time, she had even surrendered in straight sets. This time the 5 th player in the world has not left pushed around. At 2-1, she played her young opponent to make her thwart.
Less alert on the legs, Fernandez gave up her serve twice in a row. After a clear advantage taken by Svitolina at 5-1, the end of the set was hooked. The Canadian “teenager” erased a late break, then shoved the Ukrainian again when she served a second time for the set. But Svitolina dismissed three break points before completing the second set on his serve and setting the record straight.
A third set contested with a knife
The decisive round gave way to a great battle. With the same desire to make the game, Fernandez exploited her first break point of the round to take the lead. But, in turn, they gave up their commitment and after three consecutive breaks, it was the younger of the two players who led 5-2. While Fernandez seemed to have taken the psychological advantage, Svitolina lined up three games in a row to pick up at 5-5.
The former world junior number 1 was playing her fourth tie-break of the tournament. After winning the top three, she again took the lead to lead 4-1. But, once again, Svitolina did not give up and came back to par.
At 5-5, Fernandez pulled off a long line backhand passing that caught the web of the net before finishing in the court and raising the court audience Arhur-Ashe. In the process, on the first match point, Svitolina saw one of her backhands slip away and finish behind the baseline.
With 42 winning shots, 19 points won at the net, Leylah Fernandez and her ultra aggressive and ambitious game once again amazed the public. And we can say that it did not steal its place in the last square acquired by a breathtaking course. While she had never beaten a top 10, here are three pinned to her record. All at just 19 years old.
She will now have to recover after a new extended match of 2:24, because in the last four, she will face a Grand Slam winner, Barbora Krejcikova or world number 2, Aryna Sabalenka.