Rising Canadian star Leylah Fernandez said the match versus Elina Svitolina was “tough mentally and emotionally” but she was glad she managed to deliver in they moments and claim another surprise win.
Fernandez, who beat Ashleigh Barty and Angelique Kerber earlier in the tournament, surprised world No. 5 Svitolina 6-3 3-6 7-6 (5) to reach her maiden Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open.
“Well, today’s match was definitely one of the hardest, not only tennis-wise but also mentally and emotionally. Svitolina is a great player, great fighter. I was glad I was able to fight in the first set. In the second set she upped her level and I unfortunately made a few mistakes on key moments. I’m glad I was able to recuperate for the third set. The tiebreaker, too. A little bit lucky at 5-All, but I’ll take all the luck I can get. I was glad I was able to push through the finish line,” Fernandez said after her win over Svitolina.
Fernandez absolutely loves the big stage
Playing on the biggest courts against some of the world’s best players suits Fernandez extremely well.
“I honestly don’t know. From a very young age I think it’s something from inside of me because from a very young age I’ve always wanted to be on the first court playing in front of parents. Even though they’re not watching, I wanted to be in the first court,” Fernandez explained.
“Even in school, apart from presentations in front of the class that I hated, but when I had to, like, do a mini play, sing, dance, I would go out there, have fun. I would enjoy it a lot.
“Over the years I’ve been learning how to use the crowd’s energy, how to use it to my advantage even though they’re cheering against me, to use it and (indiscernible) on the court.”