Canada's Leylah Fernandez to face Brit Emma Raducanu in U.S. Open battle of teen titans final
In the folk tale Cinderella, there is only one young woman with a glass slipper who finds her prince.
At the 2021 U.S. Open there are two, and they're meeting in a historic teen titan final.
Canadian giant slayer Leylah Annie Fernandez just turned 19, beat two former U.S. Open champions, three top-five players, and has caught the attention of every tennis fan, bandwagon jumper and person who enjoys a David versus Goliath story.
Across the pond, however, there's a different teenage star.
Emma Radacanu turns 19 in November and had her own historic run to the final. Though she didn't beat the likes of Naomi Osaka or Angelique Kerber, the Toronto-born, Bromley, England-raised daughter of Romanian and Chinese parents didn't lose more than four games in any set in the whole tournament and will have her own set of neutral fans and Union Jack waving devotees.
The elder tennis star of the two beat seeded players Maria Sakkari (17) and Belinda Bencic (11) in her past two matches.
The match starts at 4 p.m.
Several viewing parties are planned to watch the match -- including a Tennis Canada get-together in Fernandez's native Montreal, where she was born.
Fernandez is based in Boynton Beach, Fla., but represents Canada, and defeated WTA Tour stars Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber, Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka en route to the championship.
She was ranked 73rd in the world at the start of the tournament but has played like a seasoned veteran.
The daughter of an Ecuadorian father and Filipina mother has battled from behind in several matches, as she bounces from foot to foot on the baseline giving a muted fist pump to get her back in the game.
Don't expect coach and father Jorge at the match this evening. He and his daughter are extremely superstitious, and he does not attend her matches.
"When we figure out what's working, we don't mess with it," said Jorge. "It's working, so let's not ruin it. The last time I showed up to a finals was Acapulco (in 2020) when she made it to the finals, and she lost it. I was hating myself for a good two months after it."
We’ve got a Canadian in the #USOpen final! Caught the start of the match before heading to the debate and I just want to say congratulations, @leylahfernandez - and good luck in the final! ������ pic.twitter.com/NC2WUbAlbW— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) September 10, 2021
Unlike Raducanu, she has used all three sets to dispatch each of her prior four opponents who were seeded 2 (Sabalenka), 5 (Svitolina), 16 (Kerber), and 3 (Osaka) respectively.
Raducanu is ranked 150th in the world, and, like every one of Fernandez's opponents, towers over the Canadian. At a generous 5'6", the southpaw Fernandez is smaller than the 5'9" Brit, but those numbers haven't mattered thus far.
-- With files from The Canadian Press.