Leylah Fernandez, a Canadian teenager, has been one of the US Open’s surprise stars this year. Fernandez made a giant-killing run to reach her first Grand Slam final despite making only her second appearance in the hard-court Grand Slam.
The southpaw brought spectators to their feet with her remarkable shot-making and serve. In fact, admirers all around the world drew parallels between the blossoming adolescent and Rafael Nadal, the Spanish tennis legend.
Both players follow a similar technique
Nadal has established himself as a formidable player on the ATP Tour since becoming pro in 2001. With an ever-improving serve and a menacing forehand, the Spaniard gained the title of “King of Clay” while winning an incredible 20 Grand Slam titles.
Leylah Fernandez has so much Rafael Nadal in her game. When she hits that forehand up the line it’s like an exact replica of Rafa. Kid is special.— Conor Levis (@ConorLevis) September 7, 2021
Leylah does that nice Nadal thing of counterpunching with her backhand by looping it hard and deep cross court. She is up a set.— Juan José (@jjvallejoa) September 7, 2021
Svitolina….sheesh. I feel sorry for her fans. Most frustrating player on either tour for me, by a lot.
Fans observed similarities in the manner Fernandez and Nadal played during the US Open. While some conceded that the Canadian made them miss Nadal a little less, others pointed out that their forehand shots were identical.
Fans also got to describing her serve as “unreal” because of its resemblance to the Spaniard’s. To emphasize the similarities, the fan also predicted that her breakout would occur on clay courts rather than hard courts.
Nadal uses his right hand to sign autographs while holding a tennis racquet in his left. Fernandez is comparable in this regard, with a fan pointing this out when she signed match balls following one of her stunning triumphs in New York.
Left-handed players have made a name for themselves in the women’s game. Drawing parallels to Nadal, on the other hand, is probably a watershed moment in Fernandez’s career.
While emulating his level of consistency will always be difficult, the Canadian may have the means to accomplish it.