Auger-Aliassime looks to follow Fernandez into finals in battle of the giants

Canadian tennis fans have less than a day to cool down after the emotional Leylah Annie Fernadez semi-final victory at the U.S. Open Thursday night.

After all, they have to reset and get ready to cheer for another young phenom hoping to make it to the final game of the tournament.

Quebec's 21-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime also made his first-ever semi-final at a Grand Slam when he beat Carlos Alcaraz Garfia Tuesday, after Garfia withdrew from the match due to injury.

Like Fernandez, Auger-Aliassime's path to the final will be a tall order in more ways than one. The 6'4" no. 12 seed is taking on 6'6" no. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev tonight in Flushing Meadows, New York.

It's a match of two very tall, very similar tennis talents.

Auger-Aliassime has the longest odds (28 to one) to win the title of the four remaining men.

Can Félix Auger-Aliassime follow on the footsteps of fellow ���� Leylah Fernandez and get past the ATP World No. 2 to reach his maiden Grand Slam final?

Today at 3pm EST. A tough #USOpen semi-final approaches. ��@bmwcanada pic.twitter.com/y55Rqq1Bn1

— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) September 10, 2021

THE ALMOST-WINNERS

Auger-Aliassime has yet to win a trophy as a pro.

Medvedev, meanwhile, has yet to win a Grand Slam.

Both towering men have come very close, but neither has been able to get over the sizeable hump that is the final match.

For Auger-Aliassime, the son of a Québécois mother and an immigrant father from Togo, the past three years have seen eight times when he has come up short in the final match of ATP Tour 500 and 250 tournaments.

The Russian baseliner, meanwhile, has won 12 titles, but he lost in the Australian Open final this year to Novak Djokovich and, in 2019, in the U.S. Open final to Rafael Nadal.

Medvedev is the clear second-favourite to win this year, after Djokovich.

Both of today's opponents have had relatively easy paths to the semi-final match.

Medvedev played one seeded player in no. 24 seed Brit Dan Evans in the Round of 16, while Auger-Aliassime's only seeded opponent was no. 18 Roberto Bautista Agut from Spain.

For the Montreal-born, Quebec City-raised Auger-Aliassime, short and sweet has been the key to his success. He has succeeded when rallies are between zero and four shots.

Medvedev, however, has been even more dominant at short rallies (63 per cent success rate to Auger-Aliassime's 56 per cent), and can also take rallies long.

Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Either Medvedev or Auger-Aliassime will get the privilege of meeting the winner of the 7 p.m. match, either no. 4 Alexander Zverev or no. 1 seed Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic is looking to become the first person since 1969 to win all four Grand Slam singles titles in the same year.

Winning in New York would also pull Djokovic above Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 21 total Grand Slams.

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