The decision of the women’s group at the US Open, scheduled for this Saturday, at 5 pm (GMT, broadcast by SporTV, ESPN and Star+), is charming for several reasons. the canadian Leylah Fernandez, 19 years old and number 73 in the world, will face the British Emma Raducanu, 18 years old, #150 in the world, and who became the first person in history to reach a slam decision out of qualifying – and did so without losing sets! It’s only the eighth slam final in history between two teenage girls and the first since Serena Williams vs. Martina Hingis at the 1999 US Open. But that’s only part of the story.
My favorite reason is to see a Canadian named Fernandez, daughter of an Ecuadorian father and mother of a Filipino family (learn more here), and a Brit named Raducanu, also born in Canada and the daughter of a Romanian father and a Chinese mother who moved to the UK when Emma was still little. They were not “bought” tennis players by the federations of these countries. They did not change federation and nationality in search of resources to finance their careers. They are, yes, a generation originated by people who left their country in search of better work and opportunities.
These are not isolated cases in tennis. As I wrote in a previous text and highlighted in UOL Esporte News this week, every excellent new generation of Canadian tennis is made up of children of immigrants. Denis Shapovalov, currently number 10 in the world, was born in Israel to a Russian and a Ukrainian. the father of Felix Auger-Aliassime, #15 and semifinalist of this US Open, was born in Togo. Bianca Andreescu, 2019 US Open champion, has Romanian parents.
Even the country’s oldest successful tennis players are the children of immigrants. Gabriela Dabrowski, 29 years old and partner of Luisa Stefani, is of Polish origin. Milos Raonic, 30 years old the former number 3 in the world, was born in Yugoslavia and was brought to Canada when the country experienced ethnic conflicts and his family was looking for better jobs and decent living conditions.
It’s not a coincidence. Nowhere. When a country (or a city) welcomes people with open arms and treats people willing to roll up their sleeves as their own, the results appear in all fields. In science, in economics and, of course, in sport. A culture of work is created, and a people who are not afraid to take it hard – on the contrary, are proud of it – make a better nation.
It’s easy to understand why a country led by a president who respects immigrants and minorities (see Justin Trudeau’s tweet above) and vibrates with his countrymen in various fields, truly without prejudice or political bias, is ahead of so many and so many nations in diverse fields.
Finally, Gaby Dabrowski’s phrase said in the interview right after winning a spot in the semifinals sums it up well:
“It’s phenomenal what Canada is doing. We’re literally a country of immigrants, so we’re hard working people who came from nowhere and made something of ourselves, so it’s been amazing to share this moment with them. [outros tenistas canadenses]”.
Examples abound. Whoever is not prejudiced should learn the way.