There is never an easy way to reach the US Open semifinals, but Leylah Fernandez has certainly done it the hard way. Tuesday’s win over Elina Svitolina marked the 19-year-old’s third consecutive win over a Top 20 opponent, including two former US Open champions in Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber. The Canadian has captured the hearts of thousands of fans with her smooth lefty game and incredible timing. Not to mention her sweet, bubbly and courageous personality.

“My dad told me to go out and have fun and fight for every point. Today’s your first quarterfinal, don’t make it your last. Fight for your dream,” Fernandez said in her post-match interview.

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Expect plenty of nerves as Sabalenka and Fernandez compete for their first major final appearance.

Expect plenty of nerves as Sabalenka and Fernandez compete for their first major final appearance.

Fernandez will next face Aryna Sabalenka as both players vie for their first major final appearance. According to the oddsmakers, the Belarusian is listed as a -330 favorite and projected to win by 4.5 total games. That line certainly seems right on the money, unless you believe Fernandez is destined for greatness this week in New York.

With her low-base and compact strokes, Fernandez can certainly handle power. The question is whether she can handle Sabalenka’s power.

While Sabalenka has never played in the US Open semifinal before, she made the Wimbledon semifinals in July, and should be able to handle her nerves better than the teenager. She’s also a tremendous frontrunner, often demoralizing her opponent with her huge serve and overwhelming weight of shot.

Nobody on the WTA Tour hits the ball harder than the Belarusian. 

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This is a tough match to bet, but with a -4.5 game spread for the match, and just a -2 game spread for the first set, there is a tiny bit of value on expecting Fernandez to shy away from the bright lights before settling down and finding her form.

We're certainly not shouting this play from the rooftop, but if you are dead-set on betting this match, I think taking Sabalenka’s first-set game spread is the right play.

The Pick: Sabalenka -2 games set 1 (-125)