Townsville Bulletin



CANADIAN left-hander Leylah Fernandez has led a youthful US Open charge by a group of teenagers whose time for Grand Slam glory might just have arrived.

Fernandez, who turned 19 on Tuesday, beat Ukraine’s fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7/5) to reach the semi-finals after earlier defeating defending champion Naomi Osaka and 16th seed Angelique Kerber.

Combined with last-eight runs by British qualifier Emma Raducanu, 18, and 55th-ranked Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, the open has showcased what could be the next generation of stars.

“I think we’re all just super hungry to make a difference in the tennis world,” Fernandez said.

“I’ve known a few of them from the junior tours.

“We’ve always talked about and joked around that we’re going to be on the big stage together. I’m just glad we’re doing such great jobs and doing just that.”

Raducanu hasn’t dropped a set. Alcaraz, 18, the youngest US Open quarterfin­alist in 58 years, beat Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas but his run ended when he retired with an injury against Canada’s Felix Auger-aliassime.

“We want to make a difference. We want to make an impact in tennis. This tournament just proves how well we’re adapting to everything,” Fernandez said.

“It’s so fun to see all of us being so happy and having fun on the court. I think it just motivates us to do even more.”

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