Another day, another win for Félix Auger-Aliassime.
The 19-year-old Canadian was just too much to handle for Aljaz Bedene on Thursday afternoon, dispatching the Slovenian 6-4, 7-6(6) at the ABN World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
It was another impressive showing from FAA, who was broken just once in the match.
📸 : Tennis TV pic.twitter.com/oB4vbC3FiR
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) February 14, 2020
It was a calculated opening to the quarter-final, as both players held their first four service games in the first set; Auger-Aliassime couldn’t capitalize on one break opportunity with the score tied 3-3.
But he wouldn’t be denied twice.
After holding serve to go up 5-4, the Montreal native was able to claw his way back into a 40-0 Bedene service game, showing resiliency beyond his years. He ultimately managed to win five straight points – capped off by a sizzling forehand shot into the corner of the court – to seal the set and send his player box into a frenzy.
ROTTERDAM ATP 500: Two terrific forehand winners on the last two points and Felix Auger-Aliassime breaks Aljaz Bedene from 30-all to take the first set 6-4 in the quarter-finals.
— Tom Tebbutt (@tomtebbutt) February 14, 2020
After his impressive five-point comeback in the first set, it looked like Auger-Aliassime all but had the match wrapped up early in the second set.
He held his first two service games and broke Bedene for the second time in a row, jumping out to an early 3-0 lead.
But his Slovenian opponent wouldn’t go down easily.
Bedene won four consecutive points on his serve to make it 3-1. Then, Auger-Aliassime faced two break points on serve, saving one before double faulting to give Bedene his only break of the match.
Another held service game for Bedene evened the set at 3-3.
Both players stayed the course until an eventual tiebreak, which went right down to the wire. But World No. 21 Auger-Aliassime would not be denied, coming back from 3-1 down in the tiebreak and even staving off a set point en route to the victory.
He closed the match with yet another excellent forehand winner, which landed just on the outside of the line.
Two years later he's a semifinalist👏👏
The young gun saves a set point and beats Aljaz Bedene: 6-4 7-6(6).
— ABN AMRO WTT (@abnamrowtt) February 14, 2020
With the victory, Auger-Aliassime advances to his third ATP 500 semi-final, and first since the Queen’s Club Championship in London last June.
He’ll face sixth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta on Saturday, for a chance to play in his second ever ATP 500 final.
The 28-year-old Spaniard is currently ranked No. 30 in the world.
(Feature image: ABN AMRO WTT)