Photo : Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
The Masters 1000 events continue to be unkind to Félix Auger-Aliassime in 2022.
After losing his opening match at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters to Lorenzo Musetti on Wednesday, Auger-Aliassime is still searching for his first match win at the Masters 1000 level this year, having previously lost his first match in both Indian Wells and Miami.
In the first clay court Masters event, the Canadian ran into a brick wall in the form of the young Italian, who refused to give an inch on the baseline while hitting enough flashy shots to move past Auger-Aliassime 6-2, 7-6(2).
Auger-Aliassime was ineffective in most facets of the game, hitting an even 21 winners and unforced errors. He also only managed to win 65 percent of his first serve points and 54 percent of his second serve.
Neither player saved a break point in the match, as Musetti converted all three of his and Auger-Aliassime converted his one.
Already with a match under his belt, Musetti looked far more comfortable in the opening set, drawing an error from the Canadian to break in the third game.
The Italian continued to control the pace and Auger-Aliassime had no answer. He was broken for a second time late in the set which Musetti claimed in 38 minutes.
It looked like the Canadian had righted the ship when he started to find a groove early in the second set. He was beginning to control rallies and managed to break for a 3-1 lead. However, his level dopped as quickly as it had risen as he failed to consolidate the break.
A missed volley on the first point of the second set tiebreak proved to be a critical mistake as Auger-Aliassime was never able to get back into the break. Musetti did not drop a point on his serve as he took it 7-2, clinching the win with a backhand winner.
Auger-Aliassime was the only Canadian competing this week in Monte Carlo. Since reaching back-to-back finals in February, the Montrealer has gone 1-4.