Leylah Fernandez, a Canadian adolescent, defeated No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka in three sets Thursday night to progress to the U.S. Open women’s tennis final.
The unseeded Fernandez defeated Sabalenka in the semifinals 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York, to reach her maiden Grand Slam final. Fernandez, ranked 73rd, won her fourth straight three-set match against a seeded opponent.
Fernandez advanced to her first major final by defeating No. 3 Naomi Osaka, No. 16 Angelique Kerber, and No. 5 Elina Svitolina.
“That’s years and years and years of hard work and tears and blood,” Fernandez said. “Everything. On court, off court. Sacrifices.”
The left-handed Fernandez, who could give Canada its second U.S. Open women’s championship in the past three years, will face either 18-year-old qualifier Emma Raducanu of Great Britain or No. 17 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece in Saturday’s women’s final.
On the men’s side of the U.S. Open semifinals, top-seeded Novak Djokovic plays No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev on Friday. In the other matchup, second-seeded Daniil Medvedev faces No. 12 Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The U.S. Open men’s final is scheduled for Sunday.