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Home   News   Auger-Aliassime advances in Rotterdam thriller; Shapovalov through in doubles

Auger-Aliassime advances in Rotterdam thriller; Shapovalov through in doubles

Feb 11, 2020
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Félix Auger-Aliassime got his revenge against Jan-Lennard Struff on Tuesday, hammering 16 aces on route to a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 victory in his first-round match at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Struff defeated Auger-Aliassime in straight sets at the ATP Cup in January, but the 19-year-old Canadian would not be denied twice in the same year, getting the better of his German opponent in a match that went the distance.

FAA got off to a great start, breaking Struff’s second service game and jumping out to a 4-1 lead in the first set. He stayed the course, holding serve and winning 6-3. He made only seven unforced errors, and hit 11 winners in the 36-minute set.

Things got a little rocky for the Montreal native in the second set, who had no answer for Struff’s strong return game. He was broken twice and couldn’t capitalize on nine break-point opportunities throughout the set, losing it 6-1 and setting up a decider.

It wasn’t all bad though, as the Canadian managed this unbelievable no-look forehand early on.

After both players held their first three service games in the third set, FAA cruised through his fourth service and got a critical break point while up 4-3. A double fault for Struff gave Auger-Aliassime the opportunity he needed – and he won the next four straight points to wrap up the set.

The impressive victory sets up a showdown with Grigor Dimitrov in the round of 16. After avenging his past loss to Struff, he’ll have a chance to do the same for his countryman Denis Shapovalov. He lost in straight sets to Dimitrov on Monday.

Shapo back in the win column

Speaking of Shapovalov, the 20-year-old got back to his winning ways on Tuesday with doubles partner Rohan Bopanna, inching past John Peers and Michael Venus, 7-6(0), 6-7(5), [10-8].

With the victory, Shapovalov and Bopanna advance to the quarter-final, where they’ll take on Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau.

Auger-Aliassime, along with partner Hubert Hurkacz, sit on the other half of the draw. That means two more victories for each of the young stars would set up an all-Canadian doubles final on the weekend.

But before that, FAA is looking ahead to what should be a fantastic match-up with Dimitrov on Wednesday afternoon.

Vasek Pospisil also opens his tournament on Wednesday after his run to the Open Sud de France final last week. He matches up against tournament top seed Daniil Medvedev.

(Feature photo: ABN AMRO WTT)