TORONTO — Moment after falling short in her bid to win the U.S. Open championship, Canada’s Leylah Annie Fernandez delivered a moving tribute to the New York crowd on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
“I know on this day it’s especially hard for New York and everyone around the United States,” she said to spectators at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York City during the trophy ceremony. “I just want to say that I hope I can be as strong and resilient as New York has been the past 20 years.”
During her path to the U.S. Open finals, the 19-year-old Montrealer defeated defending champion and No. 3 ranked player Naomi Osaka as well as Elina Svitolina, who is ranked No. 5. In the semi-finals, Fernandez beat No. 4 ranked player Aryna Sabalenka, who had formerly been ranked No. 1.
However, Fernandez was ultimately bested by 18-year-old Emma Raducanu from the U.K., who didn’t drop a single set in the tournament.
Fernandez vowed to return for another shot at the championship next year.
“Thank you for always having my back. Thank you for cheering for me. I love you, New York, and hope to see you next year.”
“I know on this day it’s especially hard for New York and everyone around the United States. I just want to say that I hope I can be as strong and resilient as New York has been the last 20 years.”
Leylah Annie Fernandez’s message to the New York crowd. pic.twitter.com/JBmM6qmO1w
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) September 11, 2021