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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday September 7, 2021

 
Felix Auger-Aliassime

Felix Auger-Aliassime advanced to his first major semifinal when Carlos Alcaraz was forced to retire in the second set.

Photo Source: Getty

The youngest US Open men’s singles semifinal since 1984 never really got going on Tuesday night in Arthur Ashe Stadium. 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, carrying an adductor injury into his tilt with 21-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime, pulled the plug after a set and four games, sending the Canadian through to his first Grand Slam semifinal with a 6-3, 3-1 (ret) victory in one hour and seven minutes.

Tennis Express

It’s a tremendous result for Auger-Aliassime, playing in just his 10th major, and he joins Canada’s 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez, who reached the semifinals with a win over Elina Svitolina earlier on Tuesday, as the first Canadian man and woman pair to ever reach the semifinals of the US Open.

Auger-Aliassime, who held serve in all of the seven service games he played, will next face Russia’s Daniil Medvedev for a spot in the final. The pair have met only once, and it was way back in 2018, when Medvedev stole away with a victory in a third-set tiebreaker at the Rogers Cup.


“It was already a great match back then,” Auger-Aliassime said. “I actually was up a break. I had a few chances. It was a tight loss.”

The Canadian says that both he and Medvedev were very different players back then.

“We're both very different players,” he said. “I think he was just 50 or 60 in the world at the time. I was not even top hundred. So, yeah, very different situation.”

Of course, he's going to come in with a lot of confidence. I also need to step up and be confident in myself. I need to serve well. I need to play a great match, be solid from every aspect of my game.

It’s clearly a different Auger-Aliassime that we are seeing in 2021. Since adding Toni Nadal to his coaching team, the Canadian has flourished at the Grand Slams like never before. He has now won nine of 10 since Wimbledon, where he reached his first major quarterfinal.

“We've been working since last December,” Auger-Aliassme said. “I think it was a good decision for me. I think he's helped me improve maybe the consistency of my game, the quality of my movement, my focus. Mainly I think the big thing overall is the belief and the confidence that he brings to myself and everybody involved in my team.


“I think on one part you have Frederic, my main coach, I would say has been with me since I'm very young, that knows me in every aspect of myself and my game. He has the long-term vision for me.

“You have Toni that has been in the places that we want to go one day, winning these big tournaments, being No. 1 in the world. I think he brings that belief that this is something doable, something we can achieve if we do the right things, work in the right direction.”

The loss ends a fantastic run for Spain’s Alcaraz. He became the youngest US Open men’s singles quarterfinalist since 1963, and the youngest player to reach a Grand Slam men’s singles quarterfinal since 1990. Keen spectators have had their eye on him for several years, but he outperformed all expectations by defeating No.3 seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas and qualifier Peter Gojowczyk to reach the last eight.

He will make his Top 50 debut as a result of his success in New York.

 

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