Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez has the most important win of her younger profession, upsetting No. 3 seed and defending champion Naomi Osaka within the third spherical of the U.S. Open.
The 18-year-old from Laval, Que., got here from a set all the way down to beat Osaka 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4 on Friday, pulling off a shocker to advance previous the third spherical of a Grand Slam for the primary time.
The 23-year-old Osaka had received 16 straight Grand Slam matches and was holding serve for a straight units victory earlier than 73rd-ranked Fernandez broke the two-time U.S. Open champion for the primary time forcing a tiebreak.
UPSET OF THE TOURNAMENT ????: @leylahfernandez takes down the defending champion Naomi Osaka instantly #USOpen basic, 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-4!
Into the second week of a Grand Slam for the primary time, and what a solution to e book her spot. #TennisNation | @nationalbank pic.twitter.com/Pp4akhaI6h
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) September 4, 2021
“I assume I wished to remain on court docket just a little bit longer. And I wished to placed on a present for everyone right here,” Fernandez stated. “One hour was not sufficient for me to be on court docket.”
And that’s when Osaka began to unravel with quite a few errors.
Fernandez took benefit of a number of errors from Osaka within the tiebreak, and would power a 3rd set in opposition to the annoyed four-time Grand Slam winner.
Osaka threw her racket not less than 3 times and was lastly hit with a code violation within the third set when she hit the ball into the stands. She even draped a towel over her head as she took a break following her second-set loss.
“Truthfully, I wasn’t specializing in Naomi,” Fernandez stated. “I used to be solely specializing in myself and what I wanted to do.”
Fernandez broke Osaka to begin the third and held serve for the win earlier than pumping her fist in the direction of followers that cheered louder for her on each late level.
Fernandez will subsequent face Angelique Kerber, the 2016 champion.
“I’m going to placed on a present like I did tonight,” Fernandez stated, “and we’re going to see the way it goes.”
Aftewards, Osaka stated she is pondering of taking one other break from tennis “for some time.”
“After I win, I don’t really feel glad, I really feel extra like a reduction. After I lose, I really feel very unhappy,” Osaka stated at her information convention following the loss. “I don’t really feel prefer it’s regular.”
Making an attempt to carry again tears, Osaka added: “I’m mainly at this level the place I’m making an attempt to determine what I need to do.”
Osaka was on the court docket for the primary time because the opening evening of the match. She obtained a walkover into the third spherical when opponent Olga Danilovic withdrew Wednesday on account of sickness.
This was Osaka’s first Slam match since she pulled out of the French Open earlier than the second spherical to take a psychological well being break. She additionally sat out Wimbledon, earlier than collaborating within the Tokyo Olympics, the place she lit the cauldron.
Fellow Quebecer Felix Auger-Aliassime wanted nearly 4 hours earlier than defeating Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 to advance to the fourth spherical.