Photo: Martin Sidorjak
Through the first two sets of his second round match at the Australian Open on Tuesday night, things were looking very bleak for Félix Auger-Aliassime against an in-form Alex Molcan of Slovakia. But the Canadian found his form just in time to defeat the world no. 54 by a score of 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 and earn his second-career victory after trailing by two sets to love.
Molcan had all the answers in sets one and two. He was the one dictating the proceedings by managing to diffuse Auger-Aliassime’s power and sending the ball back across the net with authority. He utilized his variety and lefty spin to make him uncomfortable and executed his game plan to perfection.
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Auger-Aliassime remained positive despite his predicament and hung in just long enough, especially mentally, before finally generating his first break point of the match in the seventh game of the third set. He converted the opportunity and never looked back. The 22-year-old steadied himself, found his range off the ground, and raced out to a quick lead in the final two sets to narrowly avoid the upset. He finished the match with 23 aces and 59 winners en route to his third straight appearance in round three at the first Grand Slam event of the tennis season. He awaits the winner of the match between Corentin Moutet of France and no. 28 seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina.
If the weather permits on a rainy day in Melbourne, Bianca Andreescu and Denis Shapovalov will attempt to join their compatriot in the third round early on Wednesday.