Photo : @abnamrowtt
After a slow start to his opening round match, Félix Auger-Aliassime was not interested in having to mount another comeback in Rotterdam.
The Canadian raced out to an early lead in his round of sixteen clash with Andy Murray and never looked back, advancing to the quarter-finals of the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament with a straight-sets win over the former world number one.
Auger-Aliassime broke early in both sets and, despite Murray hanging tough, did not allow his opponent to get ahead as he claimed a 6-3, 6-4 victory.
Finishing points proved to be the difference, as the pair finished with almost the same number of unforced errors, but Auger-Aliassime had more than twice as many winners, 22 to 10, as his opponent. He was also ruthless at the net, winning 14 of 17 points when coming in.
The last time these two met, Auger-Aliassime only dropped nine games in a route of Murray at the 2020 US Open. The Canadian picked up where he left off in Rotterdam, breaking in his opponent’s first two service games on his way to an early 4-0 lead.
Murray would claw his way back into the set, reclaiming one of the breaks, but despite the fightback by the Scot, Auger-Aliassime hung on to his second break which was enough to take the opening set.
Much like the first set, the Canadian got an early break lead but Murray fought back. This time, the Scot responded immediately after being broken to level the set at 2-all, but Auger-Aliassime keep the pressure on and got the break right back.
This time, he did not let up, riding his serve into the quarter-final, where he will meet another Brit, sixth seed Cameron Norrie.
Earlier in the day, Denis Shapovalov and partner Rohan Bopanna were beaten in the quarter-finals of the doubles competition by fourth seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski in a match tiebreak.
Vasek Pospisil continues hot streak in Dallas
Fresh off of his 10th ATP Challenger title in Quimper, France, Vasek Pospisil was able to keep his momentum going at the Dallas Open this week, qualifying for his first ATP main-draw action since the BNP Paribas Open last October. His opponent in today’s round-of-16 match was another fellow qualifier – world No. 153 Jurij Rodionov of Austria.
So far this week, the Canadian soared past his opponents in the qualifying rounds and then dismantled wildcard Caleb Chakravarthi 6-1, 6-0 in his first-round bout. Two of the four times Pospisil scored a bagel on the ATP Tour, he went on to make the final at the event. He’ll look to add to that stat after managing to edge 22-year-old Rodionov in today’s contest 6-7(3), 7-6(6), 6-3.
Pospisil will play world No. 26 John Isner in the quarter-finals on Friday. The 6-foot-10 American leads their head-to-head 4-2.