Montreal’s Auger-Aliassime out at U.S. Open; crowd fave Fernandez now carries Canada’s hopes

Montreal’s Auger-Aliassime out at U.S. Open; crowd fave Fernandez now carries Canada’s hopes

MONTREAL —
Felix Auger-Aliassime’s dream of playing in a U.S. Open men’s final will have to wait for next year.

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

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

Auger-Aliassime, who was seeded 12th, held his own throughout the semifinal against the powerful Medvedev, thanks to crafty play at the net and returns his opponent often sent well past the baseline.

But a string of first-serve misses and double-faults saw the Canadian relinquish several scoring opportunities, especially early in the first set, which Medvedev — who barely seemed to break a sweat throughout the match — claimed easily.

And with a 5-2 lead in the second set, Auger-Aliassime failed to capitalize on his set point opportunities, letting the Russian surge back by taking five straight games.

Auger-Aliassime became the first-ever Canadian to reach the U.S. Open men’s semifinals earlier this week when Carlos Alcaraz of Spain retired from their quarterfinal match with a leg injury.

But he clearly had his hands full with Medvedev, despite the exhortations of a New York crowd that has demonstrated its affinity for Canadian players throughout the tournament.

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

Auger-Aliassime proved a favourite with the crowd Friday as well, particularly those brandishing Maple Leaf flags. “Go get ’em, Felix,” they shouted. “C’mon, Felix. You got this.”

— This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 10, 2021.



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