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 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.
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) September 11, 2021
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) September 11, 2021
Leylah Fernandez didn’t lose anything today. Over the past few weeks she defeated multiple grand slam champions, won over the New York crowd and never quit. She was winner before ever stepping foot on that court.
— Sid Seixeiro (@Sid_Seixeiro) September 11, 2021
Incredible two weeks from Leylah Fernandez.
In the final she faced the best player in the tournament and she battled harder than any of Emma Raducanu's s previous opponents.
Saying she made Canada proud doesn't do her justice. #USOpen
— Omar A.R. (@omarcanuck) September 11, 2021
Whatever happens, Leylah Fernandez should know that she's likely inspired many children to play tennis in Canada.
Hats off to her.
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) September 11, 2021
leylah & emma congratulating each other after the us open finals: pic.twitter.com/FBMk8yF1HR
— alex (@steven_lebron) September 11, 2021
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. I just want to say that I hope I can be as strong and resilient as New York has been the last 20 years."
Leylah Annie Fernandez's message to the New York crowd. pic.twitter.com/JBmM6qmO1w
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) September 11, 2021
"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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