Leylah Fernandez’s father labels US Open final vs Emma Raducanu inspiring

Emma Raducanu was 'blocked out' of Instagram account

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The US Open final between Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez is a huge “positive” for the women’s game, according to the Canadian’s coach and father.The pair will meet at Flushing Meadows on Saturday evening in the first all-teenage Grand Slam final since Serena Williams beat Martina Hingis on the same stage in 1999. And Jorge Fernandez, who has coached his daughter ever since she was dropped from the Canadian system as a young child, said the pair’s heritage, as well as their tennis ability, was inspiring others.

Raducanu, 18, was born in Canada to a Romanian father and Chinese mother before moving to the UK aged two while Fernandez,19, has Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Filipino heritage.

“I see they’re both bringing a type of game that is not common right now on the circuit,” he continued.

“I see that they bring a flair that is very unique for them. I’m glad that they’re touching the Asian community. I think that’s a huge opportunity in the women’s game.

“I think it’s just positive for the game. Obviously I want Leylah to win. That goes without saying. But I just think that the match-up and what we’re seeing, those two ladies are touching a lot of young girls. I’m getting messages about, ‘Please pass this to Leylah’, little girls saying, ‘You’re making us believe’. This can only be good for the tennis game.”

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Fernandez has opted to remain home in Florida instead of travelling to New York, and will watch the final on TV. However, he still has his own pre-match rituals that he hope will help his daughter against Raducanu.

“I’m extremely superstitious,” he said.

“My daughter is as well. I’ve been using the same shampoo on game day, using the same jeans on game day, I think the same socks and underwear. It’s taken it to a completely different level.

“It’s always been that way. It’s nothing new. It’s working, so let’s not ruin it. The last time I showed up to a final it was Acapulco when she made it to the final and she lost it. I was hating myself for a good two months afterwards.”

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Raducanu’s sensational run in Flushing Meadows has been well documented but the unseeded Fernandez herself has upset the odds, beating two former champions in Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber and top-five seeds Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka.

Prior to the tournament, she had never been past the third round of a Grand Slam but will start the final in the strange position of being the more experienced and higher-ranked player.

Her father however, said rankings would be irrelevant, and had special praise for Raducanu.

“Emma made the final because she earned her right to be in the final. Nobody gave it to her. What she did was absolutely fantastic, as well.

“If you focus on the fact that it’s a final, you’re playing another warrior in front of you, I don’t think the age, who it is or the ranking should even matter.”

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