Sports Canada's Auger-Aliassime wins third-round match at National Bank Open
Auger-Aliassime wins in straight sets to advance to Los Cabos Open semifinals
LOS CABOS, Mexico — Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime continues to have a strong run at the Los Cabos Open. The Montreal native defeated Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-6 (3) to move on to the semifinals. Auger-Aliassime hit 17 aces to Johnson's four and broke the American on one of seven attempts. Ranked ninth in the world and the second seed in the tournament, Auger-Aliassime defeated Mexico's Alex Hernandez on Wednesday after receiving a bye into the round of 16. The 21-year-old will next face either Cameron Norrie or Radu Albot on Friday for a spot in the final. A win in the semifinals would pit Auger-Aliassime against either world No.
MONTREAL — A powerful service game gave Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime a distinct advantage in his third-round match at the National Bank Open on Thursday afternoon.
Cameron Norrie had no answer for it and then watched his own service game fall apart.
The sixth-seeded Auger-Aliassime fired 15 aces in a 6-3, 6-4 victory over the ninth-seeded Brit to earn a quarterfinal berth at his hometown tournament.
"That was a very convincing win," Auger-Aliassime said. "I served really well but I felt like I was also putting a lot of pressure on him at every opportunity that I had."
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Norrie buckled in his final service game with three double-faults.
With the clouds cleared after a mid-afternoon storm, the left-hander had to deal with the blinding late-afternoon sun right in his toss sightline at 4-4. It led to struggles at a most inopportune time.
Auger-Aliassime took full advantage with a rather easy break before serving things out for the victory in 72 minutes.
"I got a bit lucky," he said. "He can hit double-faults, but I've never seen him hit three double-faults in a game like that. That was a bit fortunate."
Auger-Aliassime posted a first-serve percentage of 85 per cent. Norrie did not record an ace and landed just 73 per cent of his first serves.
Next up for the 22-year-old Canadian is a quarterfinal matchup with fourth-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway, who posted a 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-4 victory over No. 14 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.
Félix Auger-Aliassime is last Canadian standing at National Bank Open
On a day marked by upsets, Montrealer Félix Auger-Aliassime fought his way into the third round of the National Bank Open Wednesday with a 7-6 (6), 6-4 win over Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan. Auger-Aliassime had to battle to capture the first set. He staved off four break points before Nishioka, who was coming off a final appearance against Nick Kyrgios in Washington last week, broke for a 3-2 lead. But Auger-Aliassime broke back in the next game and both players held serve to force a tiebreaker. Auger-Aliassime appeared to be in control as he delivered two aces en route to a commanding 6-3 lead.
Auger-Aliassime and Ruud are the two highest seeded players remaining in the draw. Top-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia, No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain and No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece all lost their opening matches on Wednesday at IGA Stadium.
The ninth-seeded Norrie beat the Montrealer in the semifinals last week in Los Cabos, Mexico for his first victory over Auger-Aliassime in five tries on the ATP Tour.
"It was very positive for me against a player of his calibre to be able to get back to winning ways against him," Auger-Aliassime said.
There was a clear home-court advantage this time around. The crowd let out a roar as soon as Auger-Aliassime was pictured on the stadium screens for his walk through the tunnel to centre court.
The last Canadian remaining in the field at the Masters 1000 event, Auger-Aliassime applied pressure with Norrie serving at 3-4 in the opener. He came to the net at 30-30 and made a series of volleys that had the Brit running from side to side.
Auger-Aliassime confident about rematch with Cameron Norrie
Félix Auger-Aliassime, the last Canadian standing at the National Bank Open, said he’ll go into his third-round match against Cameron Norrie Thursday with a positive mindset. “We have history. I mean, but we put that behind us,” said Auger-Aliassime, who lost to Norrie in the semifinals last week jn Los Cabos. “I did lose last week, but there were some good things that worked for me and I’m going to try to repeat the things that worked well last week and the outcome can be on my side.” On a day when four of the top five seeds lost, the sixth-seeded Auger-Aliassime conquered his nerves and a tough opponent Wednesday, posting a 7-6(6), 6-4 win over Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan.
Auger-Aliassime earned a break point and delivered an emphatic fist pump to the crowd's delight. Norrie was long on the next rally and the Canadian served it out for the set.
Eighth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz also advanced Thursday as he outlasted Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7 (6), 6-2, 7-6 (3) while Nick Kyrgios beat fellow Australian Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-3.
Gael Monfils, the No. 17 seed from France, retired early in the second set of his match against British qualifier Jack Draper. Monfils, who trailed 6-2, 0-2 at the time, received treatment in the right ankle area but couldn't continue.
Tenth-seeded American Taylor Fritz was also eliminated after dropping a 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-5 decision to Britain's Daniel Evans.
Seventh-seeded Italian Jannik Sinner was to meet Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta in the evening session and No. 13 Marin Cilic of Croatia was to play American Tommy Paul.
The Ruud-Bautista Agut match was completed over four hours after its initial start time. Matches were delayed for over an hour due to rain.
Play continues at the US$6.57-million tournament through Sunday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 11, 2022.
Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press
Auger-Aliassime moves on to quarters with comeback win over Sinner, Shapovalov ousted .
CINCINNATI — Felix Auger-Aliassime earned a berth into the quarterfinals Thursday with a 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-1 comeback win over Jannik Sinner at the Western & Southern Open Masters-level tennis tournament. Seventh-seeded Auger-Aliassime fired 14 aces to Sinner's four, as he shifted the momentum with a strong effort in the tiebreaker to win the second set. Auger-Aliassime, of Montreal, went down 3-0 early in the first set before winning his first game. He broke the 10th-seeded Italian on three out of eight opportunities. The 22-year-old Canadian will next play on Friday against Borna Coric, who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-3.