Leylah Fernandez defeats Elina Svitolina to reach US Open semi-finals

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The 19-year-old, who celebrated her birthday on Monday, beat Ukraine’s fifth-seeded 6-3 3-6 7-6 to become the youngest US Open semi-finalist since Maria Sharapova in 2005.

The victory over Svitolina is another feather for Fernandez in this incredible race, the Canadian having already knocked out defending champion Naomi Osaka and 2016 winner Angelique Kerber.

“Today’s game was definitely one of the most difficult, not only in tennis, but also mentally and emotionally,” Fernandez told reporters.

“Svitolina is a great player, a great fighter. I was happy to have been able to fight in the first set. In the second set she increased her level, and unfortunately I made some mistakes at key moments.

“I’m glad I was able to recover for the third set. The tiebreaker too. A bit of luck at five, but I’ll take all the luck I can get at the finish line.”

Fernandez became a fan favorite at Flushing Meadows during her run and the fans inside Arthur Ashe were once again audibly supporting her.

READ: Shelby Rogers braces for social media abuse after US Open loss
Leylah Fernandez celebrates reaching the semi-finals of the US Open.
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The youngster showed remarkable poise for someone so inexperienced in what was a tense game, winning the final two points – the first of which was a somewhat fortuitous net – in the decisive tie-break.

When she returned to the locker room, Fernandez said the first thing she did was call her dad.

“He honestly told me that I made him go through hell and come back with this game,” she said with a laugh.

“But he is very happy for me. He is happy that I was able to fight for every point, I deserved this victory. Keep working, enjoy this victory today, and tomorrow we will return to work.”

Canadian men also make history at Flushing Meadows

Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada and Carlos Alcaraz of Spain meet at net.

However, compatriot Carlos Alcaraz’s run to the US Open came to an abrupt end as the Spaniard was forced to retire injured in his quarter-final against Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Alcaraz said after the match that it was his right adductor muscle that forced him to retire early from what had promised to be an exciting clash between two of tennis’s top emerging talents.

Auger-Aliassime was leading 6-3 3-1 when Alcaraz retired and became the first male player born in the 2000s to reach a Grand Slam semi-final.

At just 21, he also became the first Canadian male player in history to reach the semi-finals of the US Open.

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