The story of the 2021 US Open has been the emergence of a new set of young players in the men’s and women’s draw but particularly in the women’s draw.
The names-Leylah Fernandez (19); Carlos Alcaraz (18) and Emma Raducanu (18) have taken the last major of the year by storm. On Tuesday, Fernandez beat Elina Svitolina 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 to qualify for the semi-final.
Svitolina, the No.5 seed joined her Fernandez’s list of conquests that include the 2020 US Open champion, Naomi Osaka and the 2016 champion Angelique Kerber.
Fernandez, in the post-match interview on court also showed she has a bubbly personality that makes her an interviewer’s delight. When she was asked why Canadian players have posted strong showings at Flushing Meadows, she replied, “I would say it’s the maple syrup. Maple syrup, the breakfast of (future?) champions. Got it!”
She also analysed why there has been a burst of youthful exuberance in a Grand Slam. “It’s so fun to see all of us (youngsters) being so happy and having fun on the court. Honestly, I think it just motivates us to do even more. We want to make something special out of this tournament.”
Fernandez won her first WTA Tour singles title at the 2021 Monterrey Open in March, beating Viktorija Golubic, 6–1, 6–4. She will face number two-seeded Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinal.
Later on Wednesday, Raducanu will seek to join Fernandez when she comes up against Olympic champion, Belinda Bencic.