09/12/2021 at 4:45 AM CEST
Never before, in a Grand Slam tournament, has a tennis player number 73 in the world, just 18 years old, been able to reach the final after having left three of the Top 10 on the road and two champions as did the Canadian teenager Leylah Fernández, who despite losing the game for the US Open title, left Flushing Meadows as the undisputed moral champion.
Fernández, of an Ecuadorian father and a Filipino-Canadian mother, could not beat the British in the final Emma Raducanu, 18, who with a much easier route and without having lost any set, won all the games in two runs, came with more physical reserve to the fight for the title to make the difference with the victory by 6 -4 and 6-3.
Despite the defeat, during the awarding of the trophies, the more than 23,000 fans stood on the center court Arthur Ashe Stadium They stood up and gave him more than several minutes of standing ovation.
“The journey I have had in the tournament has been something incredible, that despite the defeat, which I think happened because I made unforced errors in the decisive moments, I leave much more convinced of how much I can improve for the future“declared Fernández.” It is sad to lose the final match, but at the same time I know that I have grown in all aspects and that is something fundamental for my future. “
Fernández said she was also prepared to overcome defeat because his family had always raised him in setbacks and in the triumphs that life can give you and I was prepared for it.
“The only thing I have to do after this defeat is grow much more for the future and return next year as a more complete tennis player“said Fernández.” In addition, I have had a tournament in which I have enjoyed everything that happened in New York to the fullest with my family and coach. “
Fernández, who won in the third round the 2020 champion, the Japanese Naomi Osaka, third favorite, then German Angelique Kerber, champion in 2016, in addition to the fifth favorite, the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina and the second, the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, all matches to three sets, said that the experience had been unique.
“I think that from each game I get great experiences that will serve a lot for the future,” Fernández acknowledged. “I think I did great tennis, especially I never felt inferior to anyone and mentally I was very strong when the score was not in my favor. “
Fernandez reiterated that the gratitude to the New York fans would be “eternal” because thanks to them she always stayed in the fight as did her family, her mother and sisters who accompanied her.
“His unconditional and wonderful support, like that of my father from home, has been the key that he could get this far in the tournament,” said Fernández. “Without them what I have experienced in New York would not have been possible.”
Fernández reiterated that she leaves the tournament much stronger with the confidence that she still has a great field ahead of her to grow in all aspects and return next year with the aim of doing things much better.
Something that she had already manifested during the presentation of the trophy when the New York fans were completely devoted to Fernández by cheering her at all times, something that made the 19-year-old Canadian teenager thrill. As of Monday, she will already be one of the best in world women’s tennis.
“I hope to be back here in the final and this time with a trophy, the right one. With the right trophy,” Fernández reiterated as tears welled up in his eyes during the trophy presentation. “This defeat will only motivate me to surpass myself every day and achieve other important goals in my career.”
This time he could not get it or the prize of 2.5 million dollars that Raducanu won, she had to settle for $ 1.25 billion, but she did win the title of undisputed moral champion of the tournament.
The legendary Martina Navratilova, one of the dozens of world tennis figures who expressed their congratulations through social networks for what was seen in the final that both players starred in, said that the show had been great with two true champions.
“A star is born – Emma Raducanu makes history – never has a qualifier won a Grand Slam title, men or women, and she is just starting out. And you will never have to qualify again,” Navratilova said. “Leylah Fernandez will be back – they are both champions, but Emma has the trophy – well done !!!”,
That was the general feeling that was lived in Flushing Meadows when considering that for the first time in the history of the US Open there were truly two true champions, the one that got the material trophy and the one that took the moral.