Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez - US Open 2021

Emma Raducanu ‘has something to prove’ claims beaten US Open final opponent

Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez lit up the US Open two years ago, and now the Canadian runner-up has reflected on an ‘extremely hard’ couple of years since.

Raducanu shocked the world by becoming the first qualifier to reach a major final, and alongside Fernandez provided the first all-teenage Grand Slam final since Serena Williams-Martina Hingis at the 1999 US Open.

It was the Brit that got the better of the Canadian in that final winning, 6-4 6-3, to complete ten consecutive matches without dropping a set.

With both now in their twenties, it hasn’t been as plain sailing for the pair with both struggling for form and fitness at differing times.

However, Fernandez claimed her third WTA title last week in Hong Kong and after her victory spoke about the experience in New York two years ago, “Well, 2021 was a special tournament for both of us, we both did extraordinary things not many people get to experience.

“I was able to beat a couple of top-10 players, ex-champions. Emma, she came through the qualifying, so we both had to go through some difficulties, and afterwards, I think it was hard on both of us adjusting to the new life.

Raducanu has been on the injury sidelines for the majority of 2023, after undergoing surgeries to both of her wrists and left ankle.

And Fernandez has admitted that she is looking forward to seeing the Brit return, claiming she is ‘great for the sport’, “I know Emma is working hard, I know she is hungry, she has something to prove, so I’m sure she’s going to come back and play some great tennis,”

The No.43 continued, “Hopefully, we do see her because she is great for the sport. She has got something special for the WTA and for women’s tennis. Hopefully, we can both compete at the highest level once again side by side.”

Fernandez has also revealed that she has faced her own challenges over the past couple of years, “It is extremely hard. In the past, you think that you are grounded and you are the same person, quote unquote, but the reality is we grow and we mature, and sometimes what happens to us is we don’t want to see the truth.

“I’m very happy and glad that I do have my parents and a good team around me that tell me the truth, even though I don’t like it. They help me stay grounded. Right now, I know what it feels like to, let’s say, not be grounded. I know what it feels like to have my head up in the clouds, to take it easy.

The 21-year-old added, “But I also know what I need to do to get back on track. Now I’ve got a plan, I’m clear minded and know what I need to do. Hopefully, the results keep coming, and hopefully, the good times aren’t done, but I’m just going to enjoy my time right now.”

Fernandez has continued her momentum on from Hong Kong to the WTA 250 event in Nanchang, winning her opening round match in comfortable fashion.

It is less clear when Raducanu will return, however she has recently suggested that her aim is the beginning of 2024.

Inside the baseline…

The women’s singles tournament at the 2021 US Open provided us with so many shocks, that we will likely never see again. Due to the unforeseen nature of both of Raducanu’s and Fernandez’s rises to the top of the game, it is of no surprise that they have struggled to recreate that sort of form since. However, both have produced flashes on occasions and have plenty of time to create more stability and consistency in the future.

READ MORE: Emma Raducanu reveals when she ‘will be back’ to WTA tour

Emma Raducanu vs Leylah Fernandez since the 2021 US Open Final

Due to both of their incredible runs to the US Open final two years ago, Raducanu and Fernandez will always have a connection and we at Tennishead wanted to compare their form since the 2021 New York major:

Emma Raducanu

Win-loss record: 24-27 (47%)

Highest Ranking/Current Ranking: No.10/No.280

Best Results: Seoul Semi-final 2022 (WTA 250), Indian Wells Fourth Round 2023 (WTA 1000)

Leylah Fernandez

Win-loss record: 48-34 (59%)

Highest ranking/Current Ranking: No.13/No.43

Best Results: Won Monterrey 2022 (WTA 250), Roland Garros Quarter-final 2022 (Grand Slam), Won Hong Kong (WTA 250)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.