Auger-Aliassime reaches Rotterdam semis
Felix Auger-Aliassime is rolling in Rotterdam.
After getting off to a slow start in 2020, the Montreal native has found success this week and will take on Pablo Carreño Busta with a trip to the final on the line at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
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A big difference for the Canadian in this event has been his ability to break his opponents’ serve. In the last two rounds, the 21st ranked player on tour has converted on six of his nine break point chances (66 per cent) – well above his career average of 40 per cent.
Auger-Aliassime’s ability to break serve could prove something that powers him past Carreño Busta as the Spaniard has given up 25 break point chances in his opening three matches.
On the flip side, after a shaky opening match, Auger-Aliassime has limited his opponents to just six break point chances – being broken only two times – in his last two matches.
His time at Rotterdam was almost cut short in the opening round. After taking the first set against German Jan-Lennard Struff, Auger-Aliassime stumbled, dropping the second 1-6 and putting his tournament at risk in a third and final set.
Since then, the 19-year-old hasn’t dropped a set, taking down Struff and blowing past Grigor Dimitrov and Aljaž Bedene in straight sets.
Despite winning five straight sets, things haven’t been a walk-in-the-park. The Canadian took the opening set against Bedene in Friday’s quarterfinal, and raced out to a 3-0 lead in the clinching set.
But the Slovenian came back, forcing a tiebreaker – which Auger-Aliassime won 8-6, winning the match.
Following the quarterfinal win he said, "In the second set, I was a little bit frustrated with myself how he came back and I gave away too many free points," he added. "I felt like he was playing better and better, and I had to accept the challenge. The tiebreak could have gone so many ways, but I am happy with the way I fought."
On the year, Auger-Aliassime is now 6-5 overall, with all six wins coming in matches where he won the opening set, and all five losses coming in matches where he dropped the first set.
Auger-Aliassime is searching for his first career ATP Tour title. He made it to three finals last year in his first full season on tour.