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04 Sep 2021: US Open: Who is Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez?
Canada's Leylah Fernandez recently ended the title defense of Naomi Osaka at the US Open. The 18-year-old beat the world number three Osaka 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-3 in the third round in New York. This was Fernandez's second win over a Top 5 opponent. She has advanced to the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the first time. Here is her journey so far.
Information: Fernandez won her maiden WTA title in Monterrey
Fernandez, who is ranked 73rd, won the 2019 junior Roland Garros. A left-handed player, Fernandez, made her debut in the Top 100 thereafter. She won her maiden WTA title earlier this season in Monterrey. Fernandez trounced Viktorija Golubic in the final. However, the former struggled to win back-to-back main draw matches after that tournament. She has been phenomenal at the US Open so far.
Fact: A look at her career stats (singles)
Fernandez has a career win-loss record of 101-63. She has won four matches at the US Open (4-1) and three at the French Open (3-2) as of now. She is yet to open her account at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Feat: Fernandez won junior French Open in 2019
In January 2019, Fernandez qualified for the Australian Open girls' singles final. However, she finished as the runner-up after losing to the top-seeded Clara Tauson. Later that year, Fernandez defeated Emma Navarro to win the French Open (girl's singles). The former became the first Canadian female to win a junior Grand Slam title since Eugenie Bouchard (2012 Wimbledon).
Final: Maiden WTA final
In February 2020, Fernandez qualified for her maiden WTA final in Acapulco (Mexico Open). She won 12 consecutive sets en route to the final (including Qualifying Round 1 and 2). The Canadian claimed straight-set victories over Nina Stojanovic, Nao Hibino, Anastasia Potapova (quarter-final), Renata Zarazua (semi-final). Fernandez finally lost a set in the final to eventual champion Heather Watson, who won 4-6, 7-6(8), 1-6.
Fact: Fernandez won the Monterrey Open without dropping a set
Fernandez won the Monterrey Open in March 2021 with a comfortable victory over Golubic in the final. At 18, the former was the youngest player in the main draw. She eventually won the championship without dropping a set in the entire tournament.
Challenge: Fernandez set to face Angelique Kerber
Fernandez presently has a win-loss record of 20-15 in the season. She was broken just once by Osaka in her third-round victory at the US Open. The Canadian is now set to play her first Round of 16 match at a Grand Slam. Fernandez will lock horns with the 2016 US Open champion Angelique Kerber, who knocked out Sloane Stephens.