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 influence 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 person who 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 kids in Quebec, Canada and all over the world can 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 effectively.”
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 service.
Fernandez and Auger-Aliassime each stated it had been very useful to observe and see one another play through the US Open, realizing that they had the same background.
“For me, it was enjoyable, I used to be getting after each match, ‘You realize you’re the second win from Montreal at this time,’ so it was good,” Auger-Aliassime stated. Seeing Fernandez profitable spherical after spherical”was a fantastic feeling. I used to be happy 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 bear in mind once I was youthful, we’d watch you practice and my dad would say, ‘You’re going to be like Felix. Work like him as a result of he is so critical,”’ she stated.
Fernandez, who celebrated her nineteenth birthday through the match, 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 needs to make use of them as a springboard to continued progress.
“The whole lot is coming in so quick, however I’m so joyful that every one the exhausting work and all of the sacrifices over time are paying off and that every one my goals are coming true,” Fernandez stated.
Her success capped a summer time of sports activities achievement for Canadian girls, starting with the Summer time Olympics and persevering with with gold on the girls’s world hockey championship. Fernandez stated it felt wonderful to be a part of that wave and to encourage individuals, particularly realizing that historically fewer individuals observe girls’s tennis.
“It is actually exhibiting how girls are preventing for his or her goals, for his or her rights and so they wish to do what they’ll to convey extra individuals into the sports activities and make them really feel liked,” she stated.
Auger-Aliassime, 21, misplaced the semifinals on Friday to the eventual champion Daniil Medvedev. He stated he believes his match helped elevate his degree 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 residing that I can encourage youngsters and different individuals,” he stated, including that he is extra decided than ever to win a Grand Slam match.
After their exits from the match, 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 sort 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 completed a lot of their respective sports activities. I used to be so glad to be a part of it.”