CanCon

Leylah Annie Fernandez: Canadian tennis star credits Steve Nash for inspiration at US Open

19-year-old Canadian tennis star Leylah Annie Fernandez is taking the sports world by storm.

Fernandez, who was born in Montreal, Quebec, has quickly become a household name thanks to a breakout performance in the US Open, where she has defeated three of the tournament's top five seeds to advance to the final round.

During Fernandez's semifinal victory, Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash was spotted in the crowd showing his support for a fellow Canadian as a guest in her player box. After the match, Fernandez was asked what it meant to have Nash's support, to which she gave a moving response.

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"It's a huge inspiration, Fernandez began. "I remember my dad used him as an example one time for a whole month, telling us that we gotta fight, we gotta work hard just like Steve Nash, so it's an honour to have you here watching me and cheering for me."

Fernandez's story is even more compelling when you take into consideration that she is just days removed from celebrating her 19th birthday on Sept. 6. The inspiration and motivation she has drawn from her father's lessons and the examples set by Nash during his Hall of Fame playing career have her on the verge of reaching a goal that many in tennis never attain.

The country is behind her, and it's only the beginning of her journey.

Fernandez will face Emma Raducanu in the US Open final on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 4:20 p.m. ET.

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