Martin Sidorjak

Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime managed to oust Serbian Filip Krajinović in three tight sets of 7-6(3), 7-6(2), 7-5 in the third round of the French Open on Friday. Auger-Aliassime joins fellow Quebec native Leylah Fernandez in the Round of 16, a milestone for the two athletes who had never reached this stage at the Paris Grand Slam.

Auger-Aliassime, seeded no. 9 in the tournament, and Krajinović, ranked no. 55 in the world, each put in a solid performance throughout a match that, although it was settled in three sets, lasted 3 hours and 4 minutes! However, even though they seemed to be neck and neck throughout the contest, Auger-Aliassime’s power game was the determining factor in deciding the outcome. He was dominant on serve (16 aces, 85% success rate with his first serve) and also hit 58 winners, nearly 20 more than his opponent (39).

The Montrealer was also quite solid defensively, generating 11 break points while his rival only produced two. He showed great resilience in the third set: trailing 3-1, he slowly worked his way back, converting two break points en route to the fourth win of his career over Krajinović (overall record: 4-2).

Auger-Aliassime now faces a daunting challenge in the form of 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal of Spain. Nadal reached the fourth round by defeating no. 26 seed Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

The match will be broadcast Sunday on TSN and RDS.