Fernandez holds off Svitolina in three-set thriller to make US Open SF

One day after her 19th birthday, Leylah Fernandez gave herself the ultimate present: victory in a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) thriller over No.5 seed Elina Svitolina to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open.

The teenager’s self-belief and trust in her shots were on full display in a stellar third set. The tenacious Svitolina hauled her way back from 2-5 down to force a deciding tiebreak, and therein came from 1-4 down to level at 5-5, but Fernandez never blinked. It was the first time she had won a third-set tiebreak at Tour level.

The result is Fernandez’s third career Top 5 win, two of which have come this fortnight. She is the third Canadian to make the semifinals in Flushing Meadows following Carling Bassett-Seguso in 1984 and 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu, and she is also the youngest US Open semifinalist since an 18-year-old Maria Sharapova in 2005.

More to come…

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