Following numerous upsets and some spectacular tennis, the US Open 2021 reached the semifinal stage. Remarkably, in the first women’s singles match, second seed Aryna Sabalenka faced the inspired 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez. And as expected, the couple exhibited their best tennis inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium. Eventually, the teenager came through in the opening set 7-6 (3), and left Sabalenka frustrated.
Undeniably, it was the biggest match of their young careers so far. Although Sabalenka had also reached the Wimbledon semifinals this year, she had a better chance to make it into her maiden Grand Slam final against the teenager.
As for Leylah, she had shown great heart and caused the most upsets in New York. However, overcoming the powerful Belarusian was a massive challenge on its own.
Incredibly, after winning the opening set and then recovering from a 0-2 deficit in the second, Fernandez pushed her opponent’s nerves. As a result, Sabalenka vented all out on her tennis racquet, smashing it into smithereens.
— Tennis GIFs (@tennis_gifs) September 10, 2021
Aryna Sabalenka vs Leylah Fernandez, Set 1: US Open 2021 SFs
Sep 9, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus reacts after winning a point against Leylah Fernandez of Canada (not pictured) on day eleven of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports
However, after losing her serve, the teenager got more into the rhythm of the heavy-hitting. Consequently, from 3-0 down in the first set, Fernandez then served for 4-4 successfully.
Leylah Fernandez is battling!
Into a tiebreak we go to decide the first set. pic.twitter.com/0HlXV6GhKQ
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 10, 2021
Following that, Fernandez saved a set point and enforced a first set tie-breaker. Afterwards, a misjudged overhand and her third doubt fault gave the teenager the opening set, 7-6 (3). Also, Fernandez maintained her clean record in the tiebreakers in New York.
Fernandez’s tiebreaks at the #USOpen (5-0):
7-3 vs. Kohjuh in R1
7-2 vs. Osaka in R3 (2nd set, was one set down)
7-5 vs. Kerber in R4 (2nd set, was one set down)
7-5 vs. Svitolina in QF (final set)
7-3 vs. Sabalenka in SF
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) September 10, 2021
Sabalenka vs Fernandez, Set 2: US Open 2021 SFs
After the first set blunder, Sabalenka got composed and registered an early 0-2 lead again in the second set. Nevertheless, the in-control Fernandez continued to return well and recovered the loss immediately.
Sep 9, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Leylah Fernandez of Canada reacts after winning a point against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus (not pictured) on day eleven of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Furthermore, the duo engaged in getting the crowd on their feet. However, tennis-wise, the teenager seemed mentally in the battle than her aggressive but frustated opponent.
At 4-4, Sabalenka directed her energies in the right direction and got the crucial break. Conclusively, she levelled the match at 7-6 (3), 4-6 after comfortably serving for thr match. Who will win the final set and play for the US Open 2021 title?