“She enchants the world” – Vorarlberger Nachrichten

New YORK Leylah Fernandez had the explanation for the Canadian tennis fairy tale in New York ready without hesitation. “It’s the maple syrup,” said the 19-year-old US Open sensation and laughed out loud. With the same quick-wittedness and looseness as in the interview in the packed Arthur Ashe Stadium, the largest center court in the world, the young woman from Montreal clears one top opponent after the next at the US Open. Everything seems possible.

The world rankings-73. is completely surprisingly advanced to the semi-finals. First she eliminated the confused defending champion Naomi Osaka, then followed the triumph over the three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber and now a victory in the quarter-finals against the world number five Elina Switolina with 6: 3, 3: 6, 7: 6 (7: 6) 5). Fernandez is the youngest player in the round of the last four since Maria Sharapova in 2005.

It is a mixture of carefree and playful class, with which she also enchants celebrities far beyond tennis. “If you have not yet seen the most exciting player at the US Open, 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez, you have really missed something,” wrote basketball icon Magic Johnson on social media: “She enchants the world!”

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was just as enthusiastic and wrote on Twitter of a “great day for Canadian tennis”. Because Felix Auger-Aliassime, just 21 years old, also dominated his quarter-finals, benefiting from a task by 18-year-old top talent Carlos Alcaraz with a score of 6: 3, 3: 1 and provided a novelty.

The Canadians had never put a woman and a man parallel in the semifinals in New York. The maple syrup is apparently particularly rich at the moment and makes the host neighbors look jealous in the face of other top-class players such as ex-champion Bianca Andreescu (21) or Denis Shapovalov (22). For the first time in the history of the tournament, no professional from the US Tennis Association reached the quarter-finals.

In the absence of the injured superstars Roger Federer (40), Rafael Nadal (35) and Serena Williams (39) something is happening at the US Open – and it’s not just worth looking at the North Americans. Boris Becker noted a development that can also, but not only, be traced back to the Canadians. “The youth is now taking over,” said the 53-year-old at Eurosport: “We have been talking about the changing of the guard for ages: it is currently taking place.”

Only two of the 16 players in the individual quarter-finals were older than 26 years – Tour dominator Novak Djokovic and the former world number one Karolina Pliskova. Otherwise, it is teeming with hungry athletes who scare away the top dogs. So does Fernandez, who is now playing for the final against Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus, who is second in the world rankings – also only 23. Auger-Aliassime challenges Daniil Medvedev. “Let’s go, Felix,” called a group of fans with a maple leaf flag in New York after his success on the way to the TV interview. Canadians are hot for more.

“The youth are now taking over. The changing of the guard is currently taking place! “


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