Schnur Stars in Semifinal Saturday Upset Win at New York Open
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
The fans finally showed up on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the New York Open after sparse crowds earlier in the week, and they were treated to an early semifinal that showcased the dazzling talent of Canadian Brayden Schnur.
Sam Querrey was a 4 1/2-1 favorite over Brayden Schnur at the start of the match after opening at 3-1 last night. Schnur held his first serve at love and you had a feeling this one was going to be a tiebreak affair. And the first set tiebreak was a grand affair. Neither player was perfect, but the unexpected return of a Querrey slam down the line changed the balance. Schnur won three challenges in the first set and seemed to be extremely relaxed on court, even fake-celebrating an ace that he knew was a let. He fist-pumped with a sheepish grin, and moved on to the next serve. He later admitted that he was “extremely embarrassed” that he didn’t realize the serve was a let.
After Schnur broke Querrey in the second game of the second set, it seemed as if it were the veteran American who was frazzled and the 23-year-old Canadian in control. It was as if Querrey simply wasn’t expecting Schnur to return so many balls.
Then, nerves set in and Querrey was content to let Schnur make unforced errors. Querrey finally got a break back and then another to take the match to a third set with the momentum in his favor.
Or so Schnur wanted us to believe. Schnur was lucky to be able to serve first in the final two sets and jumped to a second consecutive 3-0 lead. This time, though, Schnur would not be broken back and propelled by a small crowd of Schnur fans, he held tough all the way.
Schnur, a 3 time All-American at the University of North Carolina, picked up some fans this week, people he’d never met before. At match’s end, he made sure to acknowledge them.
“The second set got off to a good start but there was a little bit of a letdown,” he said. “Sam played some good tennis. In that third set, you guys got me through so I’ve got your tickets tomorrow. “