Who is Leylah Fernandez mother?
His mother, Marie Auger, is French Canadian, and his father, Sam Aliassime, immigrated to Canada from Togo. Fernandez's mother, Irene, was born in Toronto to parents originally from the Philippines. Fernandez's father and coach, Jorge, immigrated to Canada from Ecuador at age 4 with his family. The New York TimesCanada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime and Leylah Fernandez Arrive at U.S. Open
Updated 4:33 AM ET, Wed September 8, 2021
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08 September, 2021 - 11:10pm
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08 September, 2021 - 10:03pm
His 16-year-old daughter, Leylah Annie, had won the French Open junior title and was launching a professional tennis career. She was ranked outside the top 300 in the WTA rankings, which meant she was limited to events that offered little in the way of ranking points and prize money.
“She’s going to turn pro and we’re going to need some heavy financing,” continued Fernandez. “This is going to turn into a numbers game, and that’s a whole different problem we’re going to have to face. We need a team for her at some point. We don’t have a physio, we don’t even have a family doctor. You get a form at a tournament that asks you who’s your family doctor and we don’t have one.”
Those worries are a thing of the past.
Fernandez, who celebrated her 19th birthday on Monday, has made a magical run to the semifinals of the U.S. Open, defeating two former No. 1 players in Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber before beating fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) in the quarter-finals Tuesday. That win guaranteed her a US$675,000 payday and pushed her earnings this year over US$1 million. She will face second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Russia in the semifinals Thursday (7 p.m., TSN5, RDS).
While her father, a former professional soccer player from Ecuador, remains her principal coach, the Fernandez team has expanded with coaching help from Romain Deridder and fitness coach Duglas Cordero who along with her mother, Irene Exevea, has served as Fernandez’s top cheerleaders at the Open.
Fernandez, who grew up in Laval before moving her training base to Florida, has shared the spotlight in New York with Montrealer Félix Auger-Aliassime, who also reached the semifinals Thursday with an abbreviated win over Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz, who withdrew with an abductor injury after falling behind 6-3, 3-1.
Fernandez, who is a career-high No. 36 in the WTA rankings, has delighted the New York crowds and earned praise from her fellow players, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and NBA legends Steve Nash and Magic Johnson. While she is one of the smallest players on the women ‘s tour — she’s listed at 5-foot-6, which may be a stretch — she plays an aggressive game and can never be counted out. She won a third-set tiebreaker to eliminate Svitlolina. She was 0-6 in tiebreakers at the WTA Tour level before going 4-0 at the Open. She has been on the court for more than 10 hours at the Open — more than any player in the women’s event — but she has shown no signs of fatigue.
When she was asked when she knew she had a chance to beat Osaka, she displayed her confidence when she replied: “When the match started.”
The 12th-seeded Auger-Aliassime, who will play second-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals Friday, had an easier path than Fernandez to the final four. The only seeded player he has faced was 18th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut and he needed five sets to oust the Spaniard.
Auger-Aliassime, who is a career-high No. 11 in the ATP rankings, parted with longtime coach Guillaume Marx this year. He retained coach Frédéric Fontang, but added Toni Nadal to his team at the beginning of the clay-court season. Nadal is best known for coaching his nephew, Rafael Nadal, but he has been able to devote more time to the Canadian this month because Rafa skipped the U.S. Open with an injury.
Auger-Aliassime posted his best Grand Slam results this year when he reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and Wimbledon, but he was frustrated in his bid for a first ATP Tour title. He lost in the finals of an Australian Open tuneup in Melbourne and in Stuttgart, Germany. He has played in eight finals and lost all of them.
Medvedev and Auger-Aliassime have played only once, with the Russian winning at the Canadian Open in 2018. That match went to the wire before Medvedev won the third-set tiebreaker 9-7.
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08 September, 2021 - 09:54pm
Both players are one win away from reaching their first major final. It's safe to expect some serious nerves.
There is never an easy way to reach the US Open semifinals, but Leylah Fernandez has certainly done it the hard way. Tuesday’s win over Elina Svitolina marked the 19-year-old’s third consecutive win over a Top 20 opponent, including two former US Open champions in Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber. The Canadian has captured the hearts of thousands of fans with her smooth lefty game and incredible timing. Not to mention her sweet, bubbly and courageous personality.
“My dad told me to go out and have fun and fight for every point. Today’s your first quarterfinal, don’t make it your last. Fight for your dream,” Fernandez said in her post-match interview.
Fernandez will next face Aryna Sabalenka as both players vie for their first major final appearance. According to the oddsmakers, the Belarusian is listed as a -330 favorite and projected to win by 4.5 total games. That line certainly seems right on the money, unless you believe Fernandez is destined for greatness this week in New York.
With her low-base and compact strokes, Fernandez can certainly handle power. The question is whether she can handle Sabalenka’s power.
While Sabalenka has never played in the US Open semifinal before, she made the Wimbledon semifinals in July, and should be able to handle her nerves better than the teenager. She’s also a tremendous frontrunner, often demoralizing her opponent with her huge serve and overwhelming weight of shot.
Nobody on the WTA Tour hits the ball harder than the Belarusian.
This is a tough match to bet, but with a -4.5 game spread for the match, and just a -2 game spread for the first set, there is a tiny bit of value on expecting Fernandez to shy away from the bright lights before settling down and finding her form.
We're certainly not shouting this play from the rooftop, but if you are dead-set on betting this match, I think taking Sabalenka’s first-set game spread is the right play.
08 September, 2021 - 04:08am
Nineteen-year-old Leylah Fernandez of Canada is in the spotlight at the U.S. Open in New York.
She's headed to Thursday's semifinals after beating yet another star player, Elina Svitolina, after besting Grand Slam champions Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber.
Fernandez, who turned 19 on Monday, is the youngest woman to reach the U.S. Open semifinals since Maria Sharapova in 2005.
A U.S. Open recap described Fernandez as having "a veteran-like ability to reset at the crucial moments."
"Today he told me to go out there, have fun, fight for every ball, fight for every point," she said. " 'Today's your first quarterfinals, don't make it your last. Don't make it your last match over here. Fight for your dream.' "
She's already beat two former U.S. Open champions, and will face off against a third on Thursday, Aryna Sabalenka.
Watch highlights from her quarterfinal match here:
If you haven’t seen the most exciting player at the US Open, 19-year old Leylah Fernandez, you’re truly missing out!! She just beat her 3rd ranked opponent and is on fire 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥. She’s captivating the world! @leylahfernandez
This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.