Leylah Fernandez overthrows Sabalenka to reach the unprecedented final at the US Open | sneakers

Even before the definition of the finalists of the US Open 2021, what is already known is that the single women’s edition will be an unprecedented champion. This Thursday, another step was taken to discover who will be the first lucky ones in history in the last Grand Slam of the year. In the confrontation that pitted world number 2, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, and Leylah Fernandez (#73), surprise of the competition, aged 19, better for the Canadian, who guaranteed her place in the decision after winning by two sets a 1, partials of 7/6 (3), 4/6, 6/4, at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Leylah Fernandez performing at the US Open — Photo: Getty Images

Eliminating a more experienced and better-ranked rival was Leylah Fernandez’s keynote in the tournament. One of the youngest Grand Slam semifinalists since Maria Sharapova, aged 18, in 2005, she has dispatched no less than 2016 US Open champion Angelique Kerber. knocking out two top 5 players on the WTA rankings, Elina Svitolina (#5), and Naomi Osaka (#3), two-time champion of the competition in 2020. Sabalenka, however, was not willing to allow the Canadian a longer path in New York.

+ Meet Leylah Fernandez, 19-year-old US Open sensation
+ Bruno Soares wins semi and is one step away from three at the US Open

Aryna Sabalenka performing at US Open 2021 — Photo: Getty Images

Deputy leader of the world ranking, at 23, the Belarusian won her first Grand Slam semifinal only in July this year, at Wimbledon. Second seed at the US Open, she advanced to the semi-finals of the tournament by defeating Czech Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova 2-0 in 1 hour and 28 minutes. Leylah Fernandez needed more time to defeat Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, 5th seed, in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

Leylah Fernandez performing at the US Open — Photo: Getty Images

Sabalenka started as he closed the confrontation that gave rise to the semifinals. With accurate serves and ability to demand the movement of the rival in the back of the court, the Belarusian opened 4-1 in the first set. However, with 18 forced errors against 6 of the opponent, he saw the reasons that accredited Leylah Fernandez to one of the sensations of this edition. In rare happy returns, the Canadian changed the game’s panorama and drew. The world number 2, however, was not intimidated, and came close to starting ahead with a set point, again, broken by Fernandez. In the tie-break, the Canadian tennis player set the stands on fire, turning the game around and winning the first partial by 7-6 (3).

Sabalenka returned to the court with the mission to recover the momentum shown at the beginning of the first set, and managed to rewrite the initial script. However, Fernandez also repeated the reaction, and guided his entire repertoire of slices, volleys and other balls of effect that returned the service break and turned the match in 4 to 3. The balance remained until the decisive point, and it was the Belarus, which recovered its aggressiveness, exploring parallels and diagonals to open the game and take the dispute to the third set, with a 6 to 4 in the second half.

+ Djokovic surpasses Agassi in US Open victories
+ Serena Williams finishes 15th year in a row in the top four of at least one Grand Slam

In the decisive set, it was the Canadian’s ball who walked. Whether in volleys, shorts or at the back of the court, the number 73 in the world ranking abused her opponent’s counterfoot and squandered class at the Arthur Ashe stadium. This time, Sabalenka was the one who sketched a reaction, but not even the aggressiveness of the Belarussian overshadowed the talent of one of the main names in this edition at the US Open. By returning the score of the second half, by 6-4, Leylah Fernandez secured, for the first time in history, a place in the final of a Grand Slam.

The decision for the US Open in the women’s singles takes place this Saturday, at 1pm. Leylah Fernandez takes the winner of the clash between 18-year-old British Emma Raducanu and Maria Sakkari, the first Greek to reach the semifinals of the tournament, who repeats the feat for the second time in her Grand Slam career, after also falling in the semis of the tournament. This year’s Roland Garros.