Teen US Open breakout star Leylah Fernandez wore a Met Gala dress inspired by tennis royalty - Venus and Serena Williams

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Teen US Open breakout star Leylah Fernandez wore a Met Gala dress inspired by tennis royalty - Venus and Serena Williams
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Leylah Fernandez at the Met Gala.
Leylah Fernandez attends the 2021 Met Gala. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
  • US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez made her first Met Gala appearance on Monday.

  • The 19-year-old tennis star wore a black-and-white Carolina Herrera dress inspired by tennis icons.

  • Venus and Serena Williams wore similar dresses from the designer for a 1998 Vogue photo shoot.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Just days after taking down multiple tennis superstars on the sport's biggest stage, up-and-coming tennis star Leylah Fernandez is emulating other tennis legends away from the court.

The 19-year-old Canadian wunderkind - who made a stunning run to the 2021 US Open final earlier this month - made her first-ever appearance at the Met Gala in a black-and-white Carolina Herrera dress. While Fernandez's attire may have looked simple compared to the ornate outfits many others donned at the star-studded event, the young athlete's dress was a meaningful tribute to two of her sport's greatest athletes - Venus and Serena Williams.

serena venus williams
A young Venus (left) and Serena Williams. AP Photo/Rick Stevens

In 1998, when tennis' most famous sisters were right around Fernandez's current age, iconic photographer Annie Leibovitz shot Venus and Serena for Vogue. The then-budding stars - who had yet to win a Grand Slam at the time but were quickly rising the tennis ranks - posed in black-and-white striped dresses from none other than Carolina Herrera.

Surely Fernandez's decision to emulate Venus and Serena with her own striped Carolina Herrera dress was intentional. Some 23 years after the Williams sisters' shoot with Leibovitz, they are bona fide tennis royalty with 30 Grand Slam singles titles between them.

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Fernandez finds herself in a similar position to Venus and Serena from the time of that Vogue shoot. She's fresh off of her first-ever Grand Slam final appearance at this year's US Open and maybe on the brink of tennis greatness herself, just like the 1998 Williams sisters were.

Perhaps the black-and-white dress is the last piece of the puzzle before Fernandez breaks through for her first Grand Slam victory. After all, within two years of wearing those gowns, Venus and Serena captured the first of many major titles.

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