MONTREAL — Contemporary off their attention-grabbing runs on the US Open, Canadian tennis stars Leylah Fernandez and Felix Auger-Aliassime have been all smiles Tuesday as they mentioned their background as Montrealers and the impression they want to have on future generations.
“I want to see that I’ve impressed individuals and never solely with my recreation, however with the individual that I’m. For me, that is even richer than the rest I can do on the tennis court docket,” Auger-Aliassime stated.
He stated he hopes youngsters in Quebec, Canada and around the globe might be impressed to consider of their goals.
“We got here from humble neighbourhoods of Montreal,” he stated. “If we are able to do it, I additionally consider that others can do it as properly.”
Auger-Aliassime, who’s been within the recreation longer than Fernandez, had nothing however reward for her throughout a information convention the place the Quebec duo introduced their roles as ambassadors for Aptitude Airways, a Canadian low-cost provider.
Fernandez and Auger-Aliassime each stated it had been very useful to comply with and see one another play throughout the US Open, figuring out that they had the same background.
“For me, it was enjoyable, I used to be getting after each match, ‘ you’re the second win from Montreal immediately,’ so it was good,” Auger-Aliassime stated. Seeing Fernandez successful spherical after spherical”was an excellent feeling. I used to be pleased with her each time.”
A smiling Fernandez, who’s from the Montreal suburb of Laval, stated it additionally motivated her to do higher and to match Auger-Aliassime’s efficiency. “I keep in mind after I was youthful, we might watch you prepare and my dad would say, ‘You will be like Felix. Work like him as a result of he is so critical,”’ she stated.
Fernandez, who celebrated her nineteenth birthday throughout the event, made it to the ultimate earlier than falling 6-4, 6-3 Saturday to British 18-year-old Emma Raducanu. She defeated 4 seeded gamers alongside the best way, together with defending champion Naomi Osaka.
She stated she’s nonetheless attempting to know her achievements and desires to make use of them as a springboard to continued progress.
“Every little thing is coming in so quick, however I’m so completely satisfied that each one the onerous work and all of the sacrifices through the years are paying off and that each one my goals are coming true,” Fernandez stated.
Her success capped a summer season of sports activities achievement for Canadian ladies, starting with the Summer time Olympics and persevering with with gold on the ladies’s world hockey championship. Fernandez stated it felt superb to be a part of that wave and to encourage individuals, particularly figuring out that historically fewer individuals comply with ladies’s tennis.
“It is actually displaying how ladies are combating for his or her goals, for his or her rights they usually wish to do what they will to convey extra individuals into the sports activities and make them really feel beloved,” she stated.
Auger-Aliassime, 21, misplaced the semifinals on Friday to the eventual champion Daniil Medvedev. He stated he believes his event helped elevate his stage of confidence after a season marked by highs and lows.
“I do not take this place as a right. I’m privileged to be on this place the place I do one thing as a dwelling that I can encourage youngsters and different individuals,” he stated, including that he is extra decided than ever to win a Grand Slam event.
After their exits from the event, their wild New York run continued on Monday evening once they obtained a last-minute invitation to attend the Met Gala, an annual fundraising occasion for the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork’s Costume Institute.
“It form of felt like I used to be Cinderella,” Fernandez stated. “The entire day, I used to be preparing for that second. It was cool, seeing all these creators, actors, designers who have been there, athletes who’ve carried out a lot of their respective sports activities. I used to be so glad to be a part of it.”