NEW YORK, September 12, 2016
Felix Auger-Aliassime from Montreal became just the fourth Canadian ever, and the youngest, to win a junior Grand Slam singles title on Sunday after defeating Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-0 at the US Open. This was the second attempt of the year for Auger-Aliassime who came up just short at the Junior French Open in June, finishing there as the runner-up.
Auger-Aliassime was dominant from the start, going up an early break in the first set to take a 4-1 lead. He never looked back, allowing his opponent to win only three games the entire match, which lasted just 58 minutes. He served incredibly well, winning 80 per cent of his first serve points and producing 22 winners versus seven for Kecmanovic. It was the perfect redemption match for Auger-Aliassime, who squandered three match points in the Junior French Open final before ultimately losing the match.
“It’s a pretty unbelievable feeling,” said Auger-Aliassime after the match. “I know what it’s like to lose in a Grand Slam final and I’m happy I was able to get a different result this time. I’ve had the most incredible support from everyone here all week and from my family and my coach. I want to thank everyone who helped me get here.”
This is the second junior Grand Slam title for the promising young Canadian as he and fellow Canuck Denis Shapovalov (Toronto) captured the Junior US Open doubles title last year. It is also the second consecutive Grand Slam singles championship won by a Canadian this season as Shapovalov captured Junior Wimbledon in July. With the win, Canada becomes the only country to boast multiple junior Slam singles champions in 2016.
In addition to Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov, Eugenie Bouchard (Montreal) and Filip Peliwo (Vancouver) swept Junior Wimbledon in 2012 to become the first and second Canadians, respectively, to ever accomplish the feat. Peliwo also won the Junior US Open that same season.
Currently ranked No. 9 on the ITF Junior Rankings, Auger-Aliassime reached a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world in June of this year and will see his spot rise again when they are updated on Monday. He is a member of Tennis Canada’s full-time national training centre in Montreal.
Kayla Day Wins Girls Title
The 16-year-old Kayla Day, the No. 5-seed from Southern California, defeated the No. 13-seed Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia, 6-3, 6-2, on the Grandstand Court at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center to capture the US Open Junior girls singles title.
In her post-match press conference, Day was informed that on Monday she would be the new No. 1 in the ITF world junior rankings.
“These were like the best two weeks of my life,” said Day after the match. “Every day was great. I had so much fun every single day, and it was just a great experience overall.”