ATP — Brayden Schnur’s best week ever got even better on Saturday at the New York Open. Having never won an ATP Tour main draw match before this week, the Canadian qualifier saved five set points in the opening set against sixth seed Sam Querrey and reached the final with a 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-3 victory over the American.
“It’s an extremely big moment for me. These last few days have been unbelievable,” said Schnur. “I was one of the last guys to get into qualifying and my coach said to just see what happens. I think I’ve turned a lot of heads this week and am on the come-up.”
Schnur, the final alternate into the qualifying draw, saved two match points in his second-round win over third seed Steve Johnson and won the longest match of the tournament in his quarter-final against Paolo Lorenzi (2 hr, 39 min). Currently at a career-high No. 154 in the ATP Rankings, he’ll crack the Top 100 on Monday if he takes the title.
The Canadian erased four set points on his serve at 4-5 in the first set and another at 5-6. Schnur couldn’t convert on set point opportunities in the tie-break at 6/5 and 7/6, but a pair of forehand errors from Querrey at 7/7 gave him the early advantage.
The qualifier had a break point opportunity to lead 4-0 in the second set, but the occasion appeared to overwhelm him and his shots began landing shorter. Querrey took advantage to level the match, but Schnur regrouped with an early break to lead 2-0 in the deciding set. The slight advantage was all he needed. Schnur converted on his first match point with a strong serve and closed the contest after one hour and 54 minutes.
Schnur will take on American Reilly Opelka in Sunday’s final after the American saved six match points in the second-set tie-break to defeat top seed John Isner 6-7(8), 7-6(14), 7-6(4). Opelka and Isner set a new ATP Tour record for combined aces (81) in a three-set match, with 43 for Opelka and 38 for Isner. They shattered the previous record set by Nick Kyrgios and Ryan Harrison (71) this past month in Brisbane.
Related: Brayden Schnur In A New York Minute