Though Leylah Fernandez didn’t end her US Open run on top, support still came pouring in for the 19-year-old Canadian on Saturday.
Fernandez fell 6-4, 6-3 to 18-year-old British player Emma Raducanu in yesterday’s singles final.
It was the most unlikely final matchup you could really imagine. Fernandez entered the tournament 73rd in the WTA rankings, while Raducanu came in ranked 150th.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Fernandez made Canada proud:
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) September 12, 2021
The Toronto Raptors and Montreal Canadiens gave Fernandez a shoutout:
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) September 11, 2021
GO LEYLAH GO!
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) September 11, 2021
And Fernandez even got some royal praise from Prince William and Kate Middleton, as well as Queen Elizabeth II herself.
Huge congratulations @EmmaRaducanu on your stunning performances and historic Grand Slam victory! Incredible –we are all so proud of you. @LeylahFernandez well done on your amazing achievements at this year’s #USOpen, it’s been a pleasure to watch. C
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) September 11, 2021
'I have no doubt your outstanding performance, and that of your opponent Leylah Fernandez, will inspire the next generation of tennis players.'
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 11, 2021
British actor Stephen Fry congratulated both Raducanu and Fernandez for their poise under pressure of the moment.
What a glorious day for two remarkable young women. Yes, it may be ‘only’ sport, but in that ‘only’ there can be found so much of human joy, despair, glory, disappointment, wonder and hope. A brief flicker of light in a dark world. #EmmaRaducanu #LeylahFernandez #USOpenFinal
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) September 11, 2021
And former CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge may have summed up Fernandez’s performance best with a simple four-word tweet.
Leylah you were awesome.
— Peter Mansbridge (@petermansbridge) September 11, 2021
Earlier in the tournament, athletes such as Canadian Olympic racewalker Evan Dunfee, as well as basketball stars Steve Nash (who was a frequent fixture in the crowd for Fernandez matches at the US Open) and Magic Johnson had shown their support.
When I grow up I want the composure, confidence and tenacity of Leylah Fernandez. #USOpen
— Evan Dunfee (@EvanDunfee) September 7, 2021
— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) September 7, 2021
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
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 7, 2021
Meanwhile, several tennis legends showed praise to Fernandez.
Great run by @leylahfernandez
Very inspiring 🇨🇦
Hell of a job 20 sets in a row for @EmmaRaducanu
— Milos Raonic (@milosraonic) September 11, 2021
— Vasek Pospisil (@VasekPospisil) September 11, 2021
Well done Emma Raducanu, the first of many duels with Leylah Fernandez. I've no doubt many more majors await for both of you. Another historic moment at the #USOpen – congratulations🚀
— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) September 11, 2021
Leylah asking for the mic back to acknowledge 9/11 was one of the classiest, most empathetic, and mature things I’ve ever seen in a post game moment ……… and she’s only 19. I’m blown away
— andyroddick (@andyroddick) September 11, 2021
Genie Bouchard, who was the first Canadian to make a Grand Slam singles final in 2014 at Wimbledon, also found it “humbling” to say that Fernandez was inspired by her.
I saw that! So humbling to hear her say I inspired her. She’s a great player. Go 🇨🇦 tennis! https://t.co/bZbm1urLz7
— Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) September 4, 2021