Leyla Fernandez has extended her phenomenal run in New York. After recovering from a set down to upset two former champions in the past two rounds (Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber), the world No.73 Canadian won a marathon against fifth seed Elina Svitolina to reach the US Open semifinals, 6-3 3-6 7-6(5).
Fernandez earned the first break in the match by winning a 24-shot rally to go 4-2 up. That lead proved to be crucial, as the teenager converted her second set point while serving at 5-3.
From 1-1 in the second set, Svitolina surged through the next four games and served for the set at 5-1. Despite this early dominance, Svitolina didn’t cruise into the third set, as Fernandez had multiple break points to earn her third straight game. Still, Svitolina fought them off and claimed the set 6-3.
In the decider, Svitolina twice recovered from a break down. The Ukrainian was not going down without a fight and leveled from 2-5 to 5-all. The match went into a tiebreak and Fernandez edged it as Svitolina committed a backhand forced error when facing first match point.
Fresh 19-year-old Fernandez is the youngest semifinalist here since Maria Sharapova in 2005.