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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday September 11, 2021

Leylah Fernandez saw her dream run come to an end on Saturday as she fell to Emma Raducanu in the US Open women’s singles final, 6-4, 6-3. It’s a tough pill to swallow for the Canadian, who expects nothing but the best from herself.

But the 19-year-old says the loss will only make her stronger.

Tennis Express

“I am still disappointed,” she said in her post-match press conference. “I think this loss, I'm going to carry it for a very long time. I think it will motivate me to do better in training, better for the next opportunity I get.”

There was still plenty to get excited about, despite the tough ending.

Fernandez is aware, and says there are plenty of positives to take away from the tournament.

“I'm very happy with myself, with the way I competed, and the play I played, the way I acted on court the past two weeks,” she said. “I've improved a lot not only tennis-wise but emotionally and mentally. I'm happy. Next year hopefully it will be just as good.”

Fernandez, playing in just her seventh Grand Slam main draw, says she learned a lot about what makes her tick. So did the American crowds, who were captivated by the queen of clutch as she marched through three-set wins over Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber, Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka in New York.

She became the youngest player to defeat three Top-5 players at a Slam since Serena Williams in 1999.

“There's one thing that really surprised me was that the more that I'm more outgoing on court and that I try to get the crowd involved, the more I'm playing well,” Fernandez said. “Usually when I was younger, I'd try to be as calm as possible, just like Federer. I'm glad that I've discovered that of myself, that I play a lot better when I'm more – not motivated, but when I'm more outgoing and when I'm using the crowd to my advantage.”

Fernandez, who entered the tournament at 73 in the world, will rise to No. 27 in the rankings.