Felix Auger-Aliassime winds up to hit a slice backhand.

Photo : Mauricio Paiz

After earning three consecutive victories over Carlos Alcaraz in their head-to-head meetings, Félix Auger-Aliassime suffered his first loss at the hands of the Spaniard on Thursday night in the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open, an ATP Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells, California.

The tournament’s no. 1 seed secured a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4 over the world no. 10 from Montreal under the lights at Stadium 1.

Both players showcased their talent and skill throughout the match, producing several highlight reel points. It was a highly anticipated match and it certainly lived up to its billing. Alcaraz put the pressure on Auger-Aliassime from the outset. His court coverage and shot-making left the Canadian without many answers. However, he still managed to save five break points before finally conceding on the Spaniard’s sixth opportunity of the set. It marked the first time he was able to break Auger-Aliassime’s serve in their four meetings. With Alcaraz serving for the set at 5-4, Auger-Aliassime earned himself a break point chance, but he couldn’t convert.

The quality shots continued to flow from both racquets in set two with the players exchanging breaks in the opening two games. They held serve comfortably until the ninth game when Alcaraz manufactured three more break chances thanks to some great returns and aggressive play coming forward. He delivered on his third opportunity and served out the match in convincing fashion.

Despite the loss, Auger-Aliassime will earn valuable ranking points thanks to his run to the final eight after losing in the opening round last year in Indian Wells. It’s an important step in the right direction in midst of a slow start to the 2023 season. He’ll look to keep the momentum going at the Miami Open next week.