Canada’s Auger-Aliassime ousted by world No. 2 Medvedev in U.S. Open semis


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.

WATCH | Fernandez storms into U.S. Open final:

Leylah Fernandez heads to U.S. Open final

After entering the U.S. Open unseeded, 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez stunned No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka to claim victory and head to her first Grand Slam final. 2:08

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.”

WATCH | Fernandez finals-bound after defeating Sablenka :

Fernandez reaches 1st career Grand Slam final with win over No. 2 seed Sabalenka

19-year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., ranked 73rd in the world, defeats second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 in the semifinals of the U.S. Open. 4:23

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

WATCH | Ottawa’s Dabrowski eliminated from U.S. Open doubles semis:

Ottawa’s Dabrowski out of U.S. Open doubles semis after partner suffers freak injury

Luisa Stefani of Brazil suffered a freak injury during the U.S. Open women’s double semifinals and had to leave the court in a wheelchair, forcing her and partner Gabriela Dabrowski of Ottawa to retire from the match. 5:13

It will be Medvedev’s second appearance in the men’s final in three years after losing to Rafael Nadal in 2019. He’ll face either No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic or fourth seed Alexander Zverev, who square off later 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 basked in a heartfelt ovation Friday midway through the match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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(CBC)

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