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Auger-Aliassime beats Cressy in Dubai opener

Felix Auger-Aliassime Felix Auger-Aliassime - The Canadian Press

DUBAI CITY, United Arab Emirates — Montreal's Félix Auger-Aliassime outlasted hard-serving American Maxime Cressy to win a 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 opening match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday.

Cressy, a classic serve and volley player, fired 27 aces and committed 25 double faults in a match that lasted just over three hours.

Auger-Aliassime proved more surgical with his serve, landing 13 aces to just one double fault.

Cressy upset the Canadian in their lone previous match, 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(9), 7-6(5) at Wimbledon last June.

"It's not the most common game but that's why he is difficult to play," said Auger-Aliassime. "You never face an opponent like him, he's quite unique. I think he got me last time (because) I was a bit unprepared and I wasn't able to stay as composed as I did today."

Cressy survived 13 of 14 break points, while Auger-Aliassime saved two of the three break points he faced.

"It was unfortunate that it had to go three sets but to be able to break him, finally, for the first time ... it was good," Auger-Aliassime said.

The fourth-seeded Canadian next plays Italy's Lorenzo Sonego in the tournament's Round of 16.

Sonego topped Switzerland's Marc-Andrea Huesler 7-5. 6-4 on Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2023.