The Canadian Open may have finished several weeks ago, but the young Canadians are still taking over this Open. In what has been one of the most scintillating US Opens in recent history, the Canadian representation at this Grand Slam has not disappointed. If you ever had any doubts about the future of Canadian tennis, it’s here. From the newly-turned 19 year old to the former US Open champion, there is a lot of great tennis to get into.
We’ll start with the two Canadians that are still in the tournament: Leylah Annie Fernandez and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Fernandez booked her spot in the semifinals today, and FAA will try to do the same tonight.
Leylah Fernandez – Teenage Sensation
Leylah Annie Fernandez has been working for this moment for a while. The young Canadian has a really bright future in tennis, and her path to the semifinals is indicative of that. Fernandez did not drop a set until she clashed against defending champion Naomi Osaka.
“I guess I just wanted to spend more time on the court.” -Leylah FernandezFernandez in her on-court interview after defeating Osaka
Her ability to capitalize on important moments with such grace on her shoulders is a very admirable skill, especially at a young age. Fernandez plays with experience while obtaining it- and that makes her run to the quarterfinals all the more fascinating.
In her match against former Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber -who has looked to be in great form again- Fernandez went down a set early but didn’t let that get to her.
Her agility and reflexes at the net has granted Fernandez many amazing points. Most of the time, she is able to read her opponent and figure out a way to make them work. Against Kerber, she approached the net 21 times, winning the point on 16 of those times (76%). This did not change against Svitolina, either.
Fernandez had a bit of a scare when Svitolina leveled the final set 5-5 and pushed a tiebreak, but she pulled off some gutsy plays and was able to pull it out. The path to the final is not out of reach, but she will have tough matchups until she gets there.
Felix Auger-Aliassime – Quarterfinal Breakthrough
Another young Canadian on a mission: Felix Auger-Aliassime. After a small history of struggling at Grand Slams, Auger-Aliassime is on the verge of a breakthrough. With this most recent result, he has now reached back-to-back Grand Slam quarterfinals, the previous being at Wimbledon. The path wasn’t easy- FAA has had to produce some high-level tennis against players like Bautista-Agut and close friend Frances Tiafoe.
In a very rare circumstance, Auger-Aliassime is going to be playing against somebody younger (!) than him. Carlos Alcaraz has been one of the most popular stories at the US Open, after the 18 year old defeated number 3 in the world, Stefanos Tsistipas. FAA has the slight edge in experience, but not by much. If he can harness that forehand, FAA has a chance to advance to the semis. Regardless, this will be a tantalizing matchup.
Bianca Andreescu & Denis Shapovalov
The 2019 champion seemed to be rolling through the rounds, in good shape. In a hard-fought match against Sakkari, Andreescu mentioned that she had felt something in her groin, but that she will be alright. This is a positive stretch for Andreescu fans, as she starts to string together consistent matches and show the flashes of brilliance like her 2019 summer.
As for Denis Shapovalov, he made it to the round of 32, but fell to current quarterfinalist Lloyd Harris. This young Canadian had some success at Wimbledon, making the semis there. He’s been on a similar verge of a breakthrough like his ATP compatriot Auger-Aliassime, and we should be excited nonetheless.
The Growth of Canadian Tennis
The representation of young Canadians has not disappointed, and it’s brought the country together.
If you’re reading this tonight, go and watch Felix Auger-Aliassime try to book his spot in the semis. We’ve been talking about the future of Canadian tennis, and it’s finally here.