Leylah Fernandez looks like she’s here to stay.
The unseeded Canadian 18-year-old who shocked the world by eliminating Naomi Osaka from the US Open followed up her upset by defeating the tournament’s 2016 champion Angelique Kerber 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 on Sunday.
Fernandez opened the match by going up a break in the first set, but proceeded to lose four straight games to drop the set and fell behind 3-1 in the second set. At that point, rather than fold, Fernandez hit another gear. She won 11 of the next 16 games, never dropping a service set again.
The crowd was firmly on the teenager’s side as she got going:
The win means Fernandez will enter her 19th birthday on Monday still in the tournament.
Fernandez, who entered the tournament ranked 73rd in WTA rankings, will now advance to her first ever Grand Slam quarterfinal. If she wins, she will more than double her career earnings as a professional tennis player. Previously, her lone tournament win was the 2021 Monterrey Open, in which the top player she beat was ranked 41st in the world.
Things don’t get easier for Fernandez from here, though. She will now face No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina, with No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka potentially up next in the semifinal.