Leylah Fernandez story ‘has been unreal and super-special to see’ – insists analysis
Alex Corretja has insisted the story of Leylah Fernandez has been ‘unreal’ as she reached 2021 US Open final with a semi-final win against Aryna Sabalenka.
Fernandez trailed 4-1 in the opening set, before mounting an impressive comeback to force a tie-break. The Canadian stood firm to take it 7-3 and move within one set of a first Major final.
Sabalenka restored the deficit by winning the second set, but Fernandez clinched the all-important deciding support with the support of a packed-out Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“It is a love story,” Eurosport expert Corretja said. “They enjoy the player, the player enjoys the crowd. It has been unreal and super-special to see. She is dealing with the pressure easily.”
Corretja added he was impressed with Fernandez’s ability to problem solve after Sabalenka threatened to blow her off the court when leading 4-1 in opening set.
“It is a huge win,” Corretja said. “It is difficult to go out there and play against Sabalenka as she is very aggressive and pushes you, but Leylah dealt with it very well. She was smart and quick, changing directions all the time and it hurt Sabalenka’s game a lot.”
Fernandez’s previous best result at a Major tournament was when reaching third round of French Open in 2020, Corretja has been shocked by the way she has handled pressure.
“I am very surprised as you normally need time,” Corretja added. “You need the experience to be there. But all of a sudden she is in the final, is dealing with the emotions and enjoying herself.”
Fernandez will meet teenage sensation Emma Raducanu in Saturday’s final.
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