New York (AFP) – Canadian qualifier Brayden Schnur, winless in five career tour-level matches when the week began, reached the ATP New York Open finals Saturday by outlasting US sixth seed Sam Querrey.
Schnur, a 23-year-old from Montreal ranked 154th in the world, defeated 10-time ATP title-winner Querrey 7-6 (9/7), 4-6, 6-3 after one hour and 54 minutes in the semi-finals.
Schnur, the last alternate in the qualifying draw, will try to complete a fairy-tale championship run Sunday against the winner of a later semi between US top seed John Isner and fellow American Reilly Opelka.
World number 49 Querrey, 31, was in his first ATP semi-final since last year in New York, when he lost to South African Kevin Anderson in the final.
Schnur denied Querrey’s first four break chances on set points in the 10th game then held to 5-5 on his fifth ace of the match as they battled into a tie-breaker.
Querrey double faulted to 4-4 and Schnur grabbed three set points before finally breaking through to claim the first set after 53 minutes.
Schnur broke Querrey in the second game of the second set on the way to a 3-0 lead, but the US veteran roared back to win six of the next seven games and force a third set.
The Canadian jumped ahead 3-0 in the final set, fired his 12th ace to hold for a 5-2 lead and held again in the last game to advance.
Opelka is in his first ATP semi-final since 2016 at Atlanta, where he lost to Isner, while Isner was in his first ATP semi-final since last October at Stockholm.
Isner, who lost to Opelka in the first round at this year’s Australian Open, seeks his 15th ATP title, the first since last year in Atlanta.