Filipino-Canadian Leylah Fernandez delivered another stunner to reach the last four
of a Grand Slam for the first time, while Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev
advanced to his third straight US Open semifinal on Tuesday.
World number 73 Fernandez, who had already ousted defending champion Naomi
Osaka and three-time Slam winner Angelique Kerber, defeated Ukraine’s fifth-seeded
Elina Svitolina 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5).
“I honestly have no idea what I’m feeling right now,” Fernandez said moments after
the victory. “I told myself to trust my shots. Even if I lose, I’ve got to go for it. And I’m
glad I did.”
Fernandez was inspired by pre-match strategy from her father/coach Jorge, a former
Ecuadoran football player.
“My dad told me so many things, but today he told me to go out and have fun, fight
for every point,” she said.
“It’s your first Grand Slam quarterfinal. Don’t make it your last. Don’t make it your
last match over here. Fight for your dream.”
The 25-year-old from Moscow was a runner-up at the 2019 US Open and at this year’s
Australian Open, where he lost to top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who is trying to
complete the first men’s singles Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969 by winning his
fourth US Open.
Medvedev moved one victory from a possible championship match against Djokovic.
Medvedev is assured of playing a first-time Slam semi-finalist for a berth in the final,
next facing the winner between 55th-ranked Spanish 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz and
21-year-old Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.
“Playing against Felix or Carlos I think is already great for tennis,” Medvedev said.
Medvedev won his only meeting with Auger-Aliassime in Canada in 2018 and his only
match against Alcaraz in the second round this year at Wimbledon.
Van de Zandschulp hoped to become the first qualifier to reach the US Open semi-
finals and only the sixth to do so at any Grand Slam event
But Medvedev dominated the first two sets before the Dutchman began a fightback,
breaking to 4-2 and holding twice to capture the third set, the first lost by the
Russian at the Open.
“First two sets he was missing. I was controling the game,” Medvedev said. “Third set
he started missing less.”
Medvedev took the only break of the final set on match point when the Dutchman
netted a forehand drop volley to end matters after two hours and 23 minutes.
“In the fourth, he served amazing,” Van de Zandschulp said. “He’s the guy who
deserved to win.”