Félix Auger-Aliassime is through to the quarter-finals of the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon following a mature 7-6(3), 7-5 win over Australia’s John Millman on a rain-delayed day in Lyon.
Auger-Aliassime got off to a slow start on serve, as Millman’s quick counterpunching game made multiple inroads on the Canadian’s early service games. After saving two break points, however, it was Auger-Aliassime who clicked his game into gear, generating triple break point in the seventh game but ultimately unable to convert.
Backed by a blistering 78% first serve percentage with 93% of those points won, the 18-year-old No. 4 seed was easily able to take the set into a tiebreak, which he secured on his third set point.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 21, 2019
The second set saw Auger-Aliassime continue his dominant play, serving at a similarly-high percentage and dictating with authority off his groundstrokes, particularly on the forehand wing. A few loose errors would let him down at times, but his penchant for tightening up his game in the most important moments helped generate match points on the Millman serve late in the second.
On Auger-Aliassime’s second match point, the match was his after last year’s US Open quarter-finalist sent one final forehand wide.
Félix Auger-Aliassime downs John Millman in the second round of the Lyon Open, 7-6(3), 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals. An impressive performance from the 18-year-old, who saved all five break points against him. #FélixRising
(📷: Tennis TV) pic.twitter.com/hBpqn4ODvH
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) May 21, 2019
The victory is the Montreal native’s eighteenth of the season, all of which have come at the ATP Tour level and more than half of which have come on clay courts. After an early exist last week in Rome, Auger-Aliassime will be looking for some momentum heading into his second Grand Slam main draw appearance – his first as a seeded player – and just his second-ever at the pro level.
Up next in Thursday’s quarter-final in Lyon is American Steve Johnson, who prevailed in three sets earlier on Tuesday against Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
(Feature photo: Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon)