“I hope I can be as strong and resilient as New York has been for the past 20 years,” said Leylah Fernandez, whose own resilient spirit has spearheaded an extraordinary race to the ‘US Open.
Fernandez addressed the thousands of New Yorkers attending Arthur Ashe on the 20th anniversary of September 11. Facing Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu for the US Open victory, Fernandez lost a tough game, 6-4, 6-3, which capped her underdog run – first started when Fernandez was stunned tennis fans by beating 2020 US Open champion Naomi Osaka.
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Fernandez and Raducanu had an incredible match on Saturday. The first score of the initial set sported a two-way duel for the breaking point that ultimately landed in Raducanu’s favor. A number of unfortunate mistakes by Fernandez saw the talented Raducanu, 18, win the game after straight sets, but the young champion has expressed genuine admiration for Fernandez’s run at Flushing Meadows.
“Leylah will always play good tennis and always fight, she’s just the competitor she is and that’s why she’s here in the final,” Raducano said at the post-match ceremony.
She added, “I knew I had to dig deep. I fell somehow and thought it would throw me off balance because I was going to serve. I was just praying not to commit. a double fault, but we got through it and I think staying in the moment, focusing on what I needed to do, my process and my state of mind really helped me. “
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Fernandez beat Osaka in the third round of the Open, then faced Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina in the women’s singles quarter-finals. Fernandez and Raducanu said they have been eager to compete for decades, which means women’s tennis is in good hands.