On social media and beyond, Leylah Fernandez captivates tennis world with incredible US Open run

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada celebrates with the runner-up trophy after being defeated by Emma Raducanu of Great Britain during their Women's Singles final match on Day Thirteen of the 2021 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 11, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada celebrates with the runner-up trophy after being defeated by Emma Raducanu of Great Britain during their Women's Singles final match on Day Thirteen of the 2021 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 11, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Nineteen-year-old Canadian tennis player Leylah Annie Fernandez had quite the run at the US Open, making it all the way to the final where she fell just short of her first-career Grand Slam title in a loss to Britain’s Emma Raducanu in straight sets.

Fernandez entered the tournament unseeded, which made her appearance in Saturday’s final improbable. The resilience she demonstrated throughout the US Open and the pride she and her family had for representing Canada allowed her to quickly win over the hearts of Canadians and beyond, those of whom were quick to congratulate her on her stellar performance at the event.

The young tennis star didn’t just make a number of new Canadian fans at the US Open, she also gained the admiration and respect from many New Yorkers and Americans with her post-match comments on Saturday — the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I know on this day it's especially hard for New York and everyone around the United States,” Fernandez said. “I just want to say that I hope I can be as strong and resilient as New York has been the past 20 years.

“Thank you for always having my back, thank you for cheering for me. I love you New York and hope to see you next year.”

She may not have captured the title, but there’s no doubting that Fernandez had an extremely successful showing at the final Grand Slam event of the year.

Based on how she performed, Fernandez should be a contender on the WTA Tour for years to come.

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