Felix Auger-Aliassime at the US Open; Fernandez now carries Canada’s hopes – CityNews Toronto

Felix Auger-Aliassime’s dream of playing in a US Open men’s final will have to wait until next year.

The 21-year-old from Montreal lost in straight sets on Friday, losing a 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 decision to second seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia.

The defeat leaves the hopes of the Canadian Grand Slam on the shoulders of 19-year-old Leylah Fernández, who makes her debut in the women’s final on Saturday against Emma Raducanu of Great Britain.

Auger-Aliassime, who was seeded 12th, held his ground during the semi-final against the mighty Medvedev, thanks to clever play at the net and returns his opponent often sent well beyond the baseline.

But a series of first serve failures and double faults caused the Canadian to give up several scoring opportunities, especially early in the first set, which Medvedev _ who hardly seemed to sweat throughout the match _ easily claimed.

And with a 5-2 lead in the second set, Auger-Aliassime was unable to capitalize on his set point opportunities, allowing the Russian to regain his five straight games.

Auger-Aliassime became the first Canadian to reach the US Open men’s semifinals earlier this week when Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz withdrew from his quarter-final match with a leg injury.

But he clearly had his hands full with Medvedev, despite exhortations from a New York crowd who have shown their affinity for Canadian players throughout the tournament.

Fernandez, whose surprising run to the final continued Thursday with a win over Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka, has attributed much of his success to the support of American fans.

Auger-Aliassime also turned out to be a favorite with the crowd on Friday, particularly those brandishing Maple Leaf flags. “Go find them, Felix,” they yelled. Come on, Felix. You got it.”

In women’s doubles, Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and Brazil’s Luisa Stefani lost their semifinal match to the American duo of Coco Gauff and Catherine McNally.

Stefani awkwardly landed near the net during a tiebreaker in the first set and injured her leg. Dabrowski and Stefani held a 2-1 lead in the tiebreaker at the time.

It will be Medvedev’s second appearance in the men’s final in three years after losing to Rafael Nadal in 2019. He will face No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic or fourth seed Alexander Zverev, who will meet later on Friday.

Djokovic is trying to become the first man since 1969 to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in a single calendar year. The feat was last accomplished by Rod Laver, the iconic Australian who received a heartfelt applause mid-game Friday at Arthur Ashe Stadium.


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