French Open: Leylah Fernandez opens up on bond with Emma Raducanu

Leylah Fernandez opens up on her bond with Emma Raducanu since British star’s historic US Open win over the Canadian – claiming the pair have ‘mutual respect’ and ‘want the best for each other’

  • Leylah Fernandez said she has a bond with British tennis star Emma Raducanu 
  • Raducanu defeated the Canadian in her historic US Open victory last year
  • Fernandez, who reached the French Open fourth round, said they have ‘mutual respect’ 

Leylah Fernandez has spoken of her bond with Emma Raducanu, a connection forged on that extraordinary night last year when the teenagers contested the US Open final.

The Canadian, 19, was defeated then but she is on the charge again in Paris and looking to write a fairytale of her own.

After beating No 14 seed Belinda Bencic 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 to reach the fourth round of the French Open, Fernandez described the connection she feels to Raducanu as the two of them try to make their way in the game.

Raducanu exited the French Open in the second round

Leylah Fernandez (left) has revealed she has a close bond with Britain’s Emma Raducanu (right)

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‘We have mutual respect,’ she said. ‘What Emma did is tremendous. When we see each other crossing the halls, practice courts, we always smile at each other, because we know what we did was incredible.

‘We just want the best for each other. Hopefully both of us can keep going for many years and play more beautiful matches.’

After a harvest of seeds at Roland Garros this week, the green shoots of youth are sprouting. Seven of the top 10 players are out and, in a wide open bottom half of the draw, Fernandez is one of three young North Americans with a realistic chance of reaching the final — where they would likely face unstoppable Pole Iga Swiatek.

Raducanu beat Fernandez in last year's historic US Open final - in which the Brit was a qualifier

Raducanu beat Fernandez in last year’s historic US Open final – in which the Brit was a qualifier

Fernandez will play 20-year-old Amanda Anisimova next after the American’s opponent Karolina Muchova rolled her ankle and retired in tears trailing 3-0 in the deciding set.

And then there is Coco Gauff. The 18-year-old had a more straightforward day, beating Estonia’s dangerous Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-4. Gauff will make her second quarter-final here in a row if she can get past Belgian Elise Mertens tomorrow.

Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu has been fined £8,000 for throwing her racket into the stands on Thursday, reducing a child to tears. 

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