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U.S. Open tennis: Daniil Medvedev, Leylah Fernandez reach semifinals

Leylah Fernandez of Canada reacts after defeating Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in the quarterfinals of the 2021 U.S. Open Tennis Championships on Tuesday inside Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Leylah Fernandez of Canada reacts after defeating Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in the quarterfinals of the 2021 U.S. Open Tennis Championships on Tuesday inside Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 7 (UPI) -- No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev advanced to the U.S. Open semifinals for the third consecutive year after halting the surprising run of qualifier Botic Van de Zandschulp on Tuesday in Flushing, N.Y.

The second-seeded Russian dropped a set for the first time in the tournament, but he recovered for a 6-3, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5 win over Van de Zandschulp to remain in the hunt for his first Grand Slam title.

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Medvedev came close to winning the 2019 U.S. Open, falling to Rafael Nadal in five sets in the final. Medvedev then lost to eventual champion Dominic Thiem in last year's semifinals in New York.

"Just want to do a little bit better than the last two times and get this last step, which is the toughest one actually," Medvedev said Tuesday.

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Van de Zandschulp, a 25-year-old from the Netherlands, was attempting to become the first male player to advance through the qualifying rounds and reach the U.S. Open semifinals. He also was trying to become the first man to reach the semis in his tournament debut since 1948.

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Medvedev will play either Spain's Carlos Alcaraz or No. 12 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada in the semifinal round.

On the women's side of the U.S. Open quarterfinals, unseeded Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez reached her first Grand Slam semifinal with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) victory against No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina on Tuesday.

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The 19-year-old Fernandez became the youngest player to advance that far at the U.S. Open since Maria Sharapova in 2005. On her path to the semifinals, she defeated past U.S. Open winners Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber.

"I obviously have no idea what I'm feeling right now," Fernandez said. "I was so nervous. I was trying to do what my coach told me to do."

Fernandez will play either No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka or No. 8 Barbora Krejcikova in the semifinals.

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