Tennis Teens Amaze at US Open
Sep 10, 2021
Three teenage tennis stars have been amazing crowds at this year’s US Open. One of the athletes has left the contest because of an injury, but two others have reached the semi-finals, after defeating many highly-rated players.
Leylah Annie Fernandez
Leylah Annie Fernandez is a 19-year-old Canadian who began playing as a pro in 2019. She didn’t have great success at first, but in March of this year, she won the Monterrey Open.
Fernandez, a left-hander, is small compared to many other players, and has a different playing style. She often hits the ball early, trying to return it on an angle so her opponent has to struggle to reach it. So far, Fernandez’s style is working wonderfully. She defeated Naomi Osaka, who’s ranked third in the world. She also defeated the world’s #5 player and #17 player. She’ll meet Aryna Sabalenka, the world’s #2 player, in the semi-finals.
Earlier this year, 18-year-old British athlete Emma Raducanu was ranked #339 in the world. But people began to notice when she made it to Wimbledon’s fourth round this summer.
In the US Open, she’s continued to impress people. She had to win three matches just to qualify for the tournament. After that, she won four more matches to reach the quarter-finals. Every tennis match has at least two sets. Raducanu made it through all these matches without losing a single set. Yesterday, Raducanu faced #11 Belinda Bencic who won the gold medal at this summer’s Olympics. Raducanu managed to defeat Bencic 6-3, 6-4. She has now reached the semi-finals, where she’ll face Maria Sakkari, the world’s #18 player.
Carlos Alcaraz, an 18-year-old from Spain, entered the US Open ranked #55 in the world. On the tournament’s fifth day, he defeated the world’s #3 player, Stefanos Tsitsipas, in a 5-set match. On Sunday, he beat Peter Gojowczyk in another 5-set match, becoming the youngest player ever to reach the quarter-finals at the US Open. On Tuesday night, Alcaraz was forced to quit in the middle of a match with #15 Félix Auger-Aliassime. He had an injury to a muscle in his right leg – probably the result of his long matches earlier in the tournament. Still, most people expect to see Alcaraz in many more tournaments in the future.