The fearless teen, who turned 19 yesterday, exhibited the same resolve that saw her her eliminate four-time major champion Naomi Osaka in the third round and three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber in the fourth.© Getty Leylah Fernandez of Canada reacts against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine during her Women's Singles quarterfinals match on Day Nine of the 2021 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 07, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The 73rd ranked female player showed she has what it takes to succeed under pressure, prevailing in a nerve-racking third set tiebreak, 7-5 to clinch a spot in the last four.
Svitolina came into the contest riding a nine-match winning streak and she had not dropped a set en route to the quarter-finals, and is rated as the best player on the women's tour not to have won a Grand Slam tournament.
Using the energy from a raucous crowd to her advantage, the confident star kept Svitolina on the backfoot in the opening frame, refusing to give her opponent an opportunity to break, on her way to snaring the first set.https://twitter.com/MagicJohnson/status/1435355436014714881?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Svitolina increased her intensity in the second and managed to break Fernandez twice to build a 5-1 lead.
But the youngster broke back and pushed the Ukranian star to the limit by almost securing another, before the fifth seed closed out the set with an ace.
The Canadian, however, didn't let that get to her and raced out to a 4-2 lead, before Svitolina fought back from 5-3 down to break the Canadian and then held serve to get back on level terms.
READ MORE: Iconic French footballer dies after 39 years in coma
READ MORE: Shelby Rogers says she'll have '9 million death threats' after US Open meltdown
READ MORE: Sensational calls for relocation hit embattled Wests Tigers
With the match on the line in the tie-breaker, one would have been forgiven for thinking the more experienced player would have come out on top. Yet Fernandez showed maturity beyond her years to stay the course and secure the biggest win of her career.
"Throughout the match I was so nervous, I was trying to do what my coach told me to do. Thanks to you guys, the New York crowd, for never giving up for me. Thanks to you I was able to win today," she said.© Getty Elina Svitolina (L) congratulates Fernandez.
Her coach is her father, but he isn't in New York, he stayed home and is offering tips in daily phone conversations to the left-hander.
Fernandez became the youngest player to defeat two WTA Top-5 players at the same Grand Slam since 17-year-old Serena Williams in 1999.
"Nobody saw this coming," ex-tennis player turned ESPN James Blake said.
"I feel like with Serena Williams and other people who came through when they were teenagers, there were warning shots.
"Everyone knew, there was hype, a lot of talk going into the slams when they made their debut.
"For her [Fernandez], she was going slow, it did seem like she was making steady progress not this monumental progress."
The 19-year-old has now booked a semi-final clash with either second seed Aryna Sabalenka or Czech eighth seed Barbora Krejcikova.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-au/sport/more-sports/giant-slaying-teenager-sets-22-year-us-first/ar-AAOcobk1099