Canadian Fernandez, 18, shocks Osaka at US Open


Canadian teen Leylah Fernandez, ranked 73rd in the world, knew that she had the ability to upset defending champion Naomi Osaka and she did just that on Arthur Ashe Stadium in the third round of the US Open, 5-7 7-6(2) 6-4.

We were aware that the upset was looming here. Fernandez is a tricky lefty and Osaka has struggled against left-handers lately, having also lost her last two matches to them — to Marketa Vondrousova and Jil Teichmann on hard courts.

Moreover, Osaka is lacking match play, as she withdrew from Roland Garros early, then skipped Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, while even this week in New York she received one walkover. The fact that Osaka stepped on court with a 16-match winning streak at Grand Slams didn’t mean much in those circumstances.

Another factor is that Fernandez is not intimidated by big stages and can be a tough competitor on a good day. Even though she had never been past the second round of a Grand Slam before this year’s US Open, the Canadian was confident in her abilities.

Osaka is still not at a good place. After the loss, the four-time major champion said that she would step away from tennis for an indefinite period:

Fernandez will be playing her next match a day before her 19th birthday. Her opponent will be another former US Open champion, 16th-seeded Angelique Kerber.


  1. Osaka made it about herself. Kind of takes away from the fact that Leylah won the match. Hmm, this reminds me of when Serena did the same to Naomi at the US Open in 2019.

  2. Alip Apai, she is obviously really struggling now. I believe it is a big problem, but I’m sure it can be overcome. She should work on it with a professional. Otherwise, she can ruin her professional career. I wish her all the best. It is important that she recovers and gets over her mental struggles.


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