Félix Auger-Aliassime is officially an ATP Tour semi-finalist!
The 18-year-old Montreal-native outplayed Spaniard Jaume Munar throughout the one-hour, 38-minute encounter, eventually blasting his way to a mature 6-4, 6-3 victory.
The first set saw Auger-Aliassime rocket out of the gates, as he pushed Munar around the court with explosive forehands and line-clipping precision. Although he’d surrender one of the two breaks he lead by at 5-2, the final service game of the set was a focused effort, which was ultimately sealed with a timely ace and a booming “allez!”
Unreal speed from 6’4” Félix Auger-Aliassime! He breaks — and consolidates — to lead Munar 3-1 early in their #RioOpen quarter-final.
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) February 22, 2019
A break in the opening game of the second set fell the way of the Canadian, with Munar struggling physically – likely a result of his three-hour, 19-minute epic with Cameron Norrie in the second round. Up 3-1, however, Auger-Aliassime would take his foot off the gas, allowing the Spaniard, a semi-finalist at last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, back on level terms.
Leading 40-0 at 3-3, Munar would concede a point to Auger-Aliassime after a line-clipping forehand was incorrectly called wrong by a linesperson. The gesture of sportsmanship, though noble, would crucially allow Auger-Aliassime back in the game, which the Canadian took full advantage of by breaking on his first opportunity.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 22, 2019
With two final forehand winners, among 21 off that wing for the match, Auger-Aliassime claimed victory, earning a spot in the biggest semi-final of his career, as well as a guaranteed place in the ATP Tour’s Top 80 when next week’s rankings are released.
But the question remains – just how high can the teenager climb this week?
(Feature photo: Rio Open/FotoJump)