US Open Second Service: Canadian stars reach US Open semi-final; Fernandez equals Serena feat
On Second Service today, Canadian stars Felix Auger-Aliassime and 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez both reached the semi-final on Tuesday, with the latter equaling a record held by Serena Williams.
Firstly, Auger-Aliassime will play his first Grand Slam semi-final after his opponent Carlos Alcaraz was forced to retire with injury during their quarter-final clash.
The two marathon five-setters appeared to take their toll on the Spaniard, who retired injured when a set and a break down with the scores 6-3, 3-1 to the Canadian.
Auger-Aliassime will now face second seed Daniil Medvedev as he eyes a place in the final at Flushing Meadows.
Another Canadian who has been mightily impressive during the US Open campaign is 19-year-old star Leylah Fernandez, who equalled a long-standing achievement by Serena Williams after making the semi-final.
Fernandez beat defending champion Naomi Osaka earlier in the competition, and backed up her impressive win by eliminating world number five Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals too.
That makes Leylah Fernandez the first woman since a then 18-year-old Serena Williams in 1999 to beat two top-five players at the US Open.
“I honestly have no idea what I’m feeling right now,” Fernandez said on court after the win.
In other news, Daniil Medvedev battled into his third consecutive US Open semi-final with a four sets win against Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp.
The Russian star, who hadn’t lost a set coming into the quarter-final, suffered a third set wobble against the Dutchman before prevailing 6-3, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5.
“First two sets he was missing and I was controlling the game and then he got more aggressive, he made it much tougher for me,” Medvedev said in his post-match interview.
“I had my first Grand Slam breakthrough in New York reaching the 2019 final against Rafael Nadal, so already New York is in my heart. Dominic Thiem played amazing in semi-finals last year, hopefully I can go one better this year.”
Lastly, four-time US Open champion Martina Navratilova sees brilliance in Emma Raducanu as the 18-year-old star moves on to the quarter-finals in New York.
Raducanu has now won seven main draw Slam matches across her first two Major appearances, and has not yet dropped a set in New York across qualifying and in the first four rounds.
“Her technique is impeccable,” Navratilova said.
“Her tennis IQ is extremely high. And the emotional level-headedness that she has, that’s really hard to come by. She’s really the whole package.”
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