Written by Staff Writer
(CNN) — Teenager Leylah Fernandez, seeded 74th, is through to the semifinals of the US Open and got the better of Elina Svitolina in three sets.
The 18-year-old Fernandez, ranked 406th in the world, won in four sets, one of her 14 straight victories of the season.
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Fernandez, who is still learning the game, faces Ashleigh Barty in her next match. Barty, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon, also earned a semi-final spot by beating fellow Australian Samantha Stosur.
The first set in the match was tightly contested.
Svitolina, seeded 12th, hit two booming ground strokes to snatch the first break of the match in the third game. Fernandez got the service break of her own in the seventh game, firing an easy forehand down the line.
Later, the Ukrainian baseliner broke Fernandez when the latter served for the set. Svitolina also broke Fernandez in the fifth game of the second set, with a forehand volley.
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Despite three break points, Fernandez saved them to hold her serve. Svitolina won the next four points to break Fernandez’s serve again and force a tie-break. But the teenager held on and pulled ahead to take the match 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.
Fernandez could become the first player from outside the top 100 to win a Slam since a Canadian, Eugenie Bouchard, won the 2014 French Open, the year of her arrival at the top of the world rankings.
Bouchard was runner-up at Flushing Meadows that year to Stan Wawrinka, who took the title in 2015.
Fernandez said that she had been extremely close to reaching the semis.
‘I didn’t feel as nervous out there as the other ones,’ she said.
“Once I knew I was still there, my back was a bit more towards the court, I could just focus more. I wanted to just control what I had to control and do the best I could, and hope that I was close enough for it.”