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This year, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., looks North to find its stars.
Canadian youngsters Leylah Annie Fernandez and Felix Auger-Aliassime made history on Tuesday, reaching the 2021 US Open semifinals in the Women's and Men's singles tournament, respectively.
Canada = New Tennis Powerhouse
Since 2014 Wimbledon, no other country has had *six* unique Grand Slam semi-finalists, with three of each gender:
(via @supermarioelia) #USOpen pic.twitter.com/tduoYb8yUl
— ITF (@ITFTennis) September 8, 2021
Following in the footsteps of fellow Canadian and 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, Fernandez defeated No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina in a thrilling 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) contest. She'll face World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the semis on Thursday.
On the men's side, Auger-Aliassime took the first set against Carlos Alcaraz Garfia before the Spaniard retired with a right-adductor injury in the second set.
— Félix AugerAliassime (@felixtennis) September 8, 2021
At the ages of 19 and 21, Fernandez and Auger-Aliassime have emerged as two of the most popular players on the tour, so it is only natural that social media gleefully celebrated their wins.
Fernandez's victory over Svitolina was enough to send the internet into a frenzy. Add in fellow Montreal native Auger-Aliassime's feat and Twitter became one giant chant of 'O Canada.'
Leylah Fernandez and Félix Auger-Aliassime in US Open semi-finals
Canadian people: pic.twitter.com/RLxuIbqlHm
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) September 8, 2021
— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) September 7, 2021
Today's (just today!) list of Canadian sports heroes that need to celebrated is extensive:
• Leylah Fernandez
• Larry Walker
• Joey Votto
• Felix Auger-Aliassime
— Tas Melas (@TasMelas) September 8, 2021
Leylah Fernandez has the Tennis World excited.
At 19 she's on her way to Stardom.
And she's from Montreal my home town.
Where dreamers never give up! pic.twitter.com/RunMWAnjcw
— Andy Kim (@AndyKimMusic) September 8, 2021
Of course, it wasn't just Canadians who got excited.
If you haven’t seen the most exciting player at the US Open, 19-year old Leylah Fernandez, you’re truly missing out!! She just beat her 3rd ranked opponent and is on fire 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥. She’s captivating the world! @leylahfernandez
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 7, 2021
— sloanestephens (@SloaneStephens) September 7, 2021
Fernandez's quarterfinal opponent also had some kind words.
Giving up is never an option.. Left my whole heart out there 😤 but unfortunately, not today 🙄🤷🏼♀️
Well done Leylah, for brave performance!
Thank you @usopen and everyone for your love ❤️ pic.twitter.com/iY5zhFx4L2
— Elina Monfils (@ElinaSvitolina) September 7, 2021
Auger-Aliassime, however, is already looking beyond the duo's latest wins.
Félix Auger-Aliassime was asked in his post-match press conference about he and Leylah Annie Fernandez advancing to the #USOpen semifinals today and what it means for Canadian tennis: pic.twitter.com/vfSi2RQHBC
— Jackie Spiegel (@jackiespiegel93) September 8, 2021
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Canadians have been so successful at the US Open, as it turns out the youngsters have had a secret weapon all along.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 7, 2021
Felix Auger-Aliassime says he plans to share some maple syrup with fellow Canadian Leylah Fernandez as they prepare for their U.S. Open semifinal matches 🍁pic.twitter.com/09iVrATkfz
— CBC Sports (@cbcsports) September 8, 2021
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