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Scintillating Auger-Aliassime sails into first ATP semi-final

Feb 22, 2019
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

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!”

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.

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)