SC Backstory: Leylah Annie Fernandez - A remarkable run
For the first time ever, two Canadians are in the semifinals at the same US Open, as Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime and Laval, Que., native Leylah Annie Fernandez are both a win away from playing for their first major title.
You can watch Fernandez's semifinal against Belarussian Aryna Sabalenka live on Thursday on TSN 4/5 at 7pm et/4pm pt, while Auger-Aliassime’s semifinal match against No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev will be live on TSN 3/5 on Friday at about 3pm et/Noon pt.
Both matches can also be seen live on TSN.ca, the TSN App and TSN Direct and you can set up broadcast start alerts on the TSN App to notify you as each of them begin play.
Both players are also the first Canadians to advance to the semifinals at the same major since Milos Raonic and Genie Bouchard did it at the All-England Club at Wimbledon in 2014.
Fernandez, who is ranked 73rd in the world and participating in only the seventh major tournament of her career, broke quarter-final opponent Elina Svitolina midway through the first set and took 4-of-10 break points across a two-hour-and-24-minute match to win 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5).
“I obviously have no idea what I’m feeling right now,” said Fernandez. “I was so nervous. I was trying to do what my coach [her father] told me to do.
“I called him right after the match, when I went to the locker room,” she said. “He honestly told me that I put him through hell and back with this match.”
Auger-Aliassime, the No. 12 seed, earned his berth in the semifinals on Tuesday night after his opponent, Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, retired in the second set. The 21-year-old was up 6-3, 3-1 when Alcaraz waved over his trainer before calling an end to his tournament.
With the win, Auger-Aliassime became the first Canadian man to reach the US Open semifinals. “It’s great for Canada. It’s great for Quebec,” he said after the quarter-final win. “I never thought a day like this would come.
“Both a little girl and a little boy from Montreal, both at the same time in the semifinals of the US Open. It’s special.
“I hope the people back home appreciate the moment also. It’s great but it would be amazing if we were both in a final.”