It was an extraordinary US Open for the very young Leylah Fernandez, born in 2002 and out of the top 70 WTA before the Flushing Meadows event, who in New York defeated Ana Konjuh, Kaia Kanepi, Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber, Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka before losing in their last match to a phenomenal Emma Raducanu.
Arriving in Indian Wells as 23rd seeded, Leylah overtook Alizé Cornet and Anastasija Pavlyuchenkova but she was subsequently stopped by hostess Shelby Rogers with a score of 2-6 6-1 7-6.
Fernandez: “I’m so hungry”
Prior to the last US Open, the Canadian player had never made it through the third round in a Grand Slam event. However, she had managed to conquer the 2019 edition of the Roland Garros junior and to play the final of the Australian Open in the same season (beaten by the Danish Clara Tauson in two sets).
Speaking after the defeat in Indian Wells, as published by Punto de Break, Leylah said: “It was not my best match, I made a lot of mistakes in key moments and my opponent took advantage of it. I still have a lot to prove, I need to improve a lot. I am so hungry for good results, I will train and work harder for next time.”
As for Raducanu, the British player immediately came out in the first game at the hands of the Belarusian Aljaksandra Sasnovich. Canceled last year due to the health emergency linked to Covid-19, the Indian Wells tournament saw Dominic Thiem and Bianca Andreescu triumph for the last time. The men’s record of victories goes to Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who have lifted the trophy on five occasions.
The event has seen the likes of Jimmy Connors, Yannick Noah, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi triumph in the past. Also noteworthy are the successes of Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Serena Willams and of course our Flavia Pennetta in 2014 (victory over Agnieszka Radwanska).