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After incredible week, Schnur loses heartbreaking final to Opelka

Feb 17, 2019
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Brayden Schnur came very close to capturing his first ATP title on Sunday, but ultimately fell against the American Reilly Opelka in three sets by a score of 6-1, 6-7(7), 7-6(7). The Canadian has had a dream week during which he won six matches, including two in the qualifying round, and defeated two Top 50 players Steve Johnson (no. 34) and Sam Querrey (no. 49).

Prior to his deep run at the ATP 250 event in New York, Schnur had never earned an ATP main draw victory (0-5). One week later, he leaves the tournament with his first appearance at an ATP final. When the updated rankings are revealed on Monday, the Ontario native will be knocking on the door of the Top 100, sitting at a career-high no. 107.

Schnur battled until the very last point for the title. After having saved two match points in the second set, he managed to force a deciding set. The two players were dominant on serve and the match required a final tiebreak to determine the winner. The Canada once again saved three match points before ultimately falling to Opelka, who fired a total of 43 aces in the match.

Alex Smith/New York Open

At the trophy ceremony, it was an emotional Schnur who spoke to the crowd.

“I’m emotional because this has been an amazing week for me. This is something that I dreamed of as a kid and there has been so many people that have helped me along the way. It’s too long of a list to thank them all but from the early mornings, my parents helped me so much. If someone would have told me back in December that I would make an ATP final, I don’t think I would have believed them.“

A recap of Schnur’s week

On Sunday, Schnur defeated 17-year-old Long Island native Cannon Kingsley in the opening round of qualifying.

On Monday, he reached a career-high no. 154 in the ATP rankings when he beat Alexei Popyrin to qualify for the main draw.

On Tuesday, he earned the first ATP tour win of his career over countryman and Columbia University sophomore Jack Mingjie Lin.

Wednesday, he rallied from 5-2 down in the third set set and saved two match points to beat the no. 3 seed Steve Johnson.

On Thursday, he went to sleep at 3:30 a.m. after his win over Johnson, which finished at 11:37 p.m. on Wednesday.

On Friday, he fired 24 aces and held in all of his 18 of his service games to defeat Paolo Lorenzi by a score of 6-7(7), 7-6(5), 7-5.

On Saturday, he saved five set points in t the first set of his 7-6(7) 4-6 6-3 victory over no. 6 seed Sam Querrey, making this his second Top 50 win of the week.

Today, he fell in a tightly disputed final after saving five match points against Reilly Opelka.

On Monday, he will reach a career-high no. 107 when the rankings come out.

(Photo: Alex Smith/New York Open)