Felix Auger-Aliassime watches a volley he just hit.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

Félix Auger-Aliassime did not have things all his own way in his second-round match at the All-England Club, but he picked up his game late to advance to the third round of Wimbledon with a four-set win over Mikael Ymer.

The 16th seed had his hands full with the 22-year-old Swede, exchanging powerful shots for over two hours before Auger-Aliassime ran away with the fourth set, eventually claiming a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 victory.

Power was the difference in the match, as Auger-Aliassime struck 50 winners, double his opponent, including 19 aces, and won 80 percent of his first serve points.

The match was marred slightly was a bad fall for Ymer in the middle of the third set. The late stages were also played under threat of suspension as the light began to fade.

Auger-Aliassime is through to the third round of Wimbledon for the second time. He has never failed to reach the third round in his career at the All-England Club.

Ymer was late to arrive to the match, both literally and metaphorically, as he threw away the opening game with a run of unforced errors, giving Auger-Aliassime an early break.

The match settled into its rhythm after the quick start, with the two men traded big serves and body blows from the baseline. But the early break proved decisive as Auger-Aliassime hung on to take the opening set.

After failing to take advantage of a love-30 lead on Ymer’s serve in the opening game of the second set, the Canadian threw in his first dud of the match, quickly falling behind love-40 and giving away the break with a forehand into the net.

At 2-4, Auger-Aliassime struck back, getting a 30-40 lead before seizing control of a rally and eventually forcing Ymer into an error to get back on serve.

The Canadian had another chance to break at 4-all, but was unsuccessful. It proved costly as Auger-Aliassime dug himself into a 15-40 hole, double set point, in the next game and dumped a shot into the net to drop the second set.

A scary moment occurred at 3-2 in the third, as Ymer had a nasty fall deep behind the baseline in the middle of a rally. It took him several minutes to get up and return to his chair before being attended to by the trainer. After a long delay, the Swede was able to continue.

When play resumed, Ymer held his first service game to love.

The set required a tiebreak, where Auger-Aliassime quickly seized the initiative, racing out to a 5-2 lead. He converted his second set point to take the breaker 7-4 and a two-sets-to-one lead.

With the light beginning to fade, Auger-Aliassime upped the intensity, winning 12 of the first 14 points of the fourth set on his way to a 3-0 lead, including the first break of Ymer’s serve since the first game of the match.

Ymer had a chance to get the break back at 1-3 when he went up love-40 on Auger-Aliassime’s serve, but the Canadian came up with one of his best runs of the match, hitting back-to-back aces followed by a big second serve that the Swede returned long. He held for 4-1.

That would be the last gasp for Ymer, as he was broken to love in the next game before Auger-Aliassime held to wrap up the win.

The match finished at just before 9 pm local time.

Auger Aliassime will have a blockbuster in the third round when he takes on former Wimbledon quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios. The Canadian won their lone previous meeting, also on grass in three tight sets at the Queen’s Club in 2019.

Busy day in doubles

The full Canadian ladies doubles contingent was in action on Thursday with three women competing in three different matches.

Sharon Fichman, the highest seed of the three alongside partner Giuliana Olmos at number nine, got off to a strong start, needing under an hour to win her first-round match over Kveta Peschke and Vivian Heisen.

The North American pair converted five of their six break points, won 80 percent of their first serves, and 79 percent of their second serve returns.

After exchanging early breaks, Fichman and Olmos won seven straight games to take the opening set and grab an early lead in the second. They eventually won 6-2, 6-1.

Sharon Fichman hits a volley.
Photo : Martin Sidorjak

Gabriela Dabrowski was not so lucky, as she and partner Caroline Garcia were defeated in straight sets by fifth seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara.  

Dabrowski is seeded second alongside Mate Pavic in the mixed doubles.

Leylah Fernandez’s Wimbledon is now officially over after she and partner Anastasia Potapova fell to the 13th seeds Raluca Olaru and Nadiia Kichenok in a tight three-setter.

Fernandez and Potapova took the opening set 6-2, but found themselves playing catch-up for the rest of the match.

After dropping the second set, the pair managed to rally from 3-5 down in the third to tie the set at 5-all, breaking as their opponents served for the match, but ultimately fell 8-6 in the deciding set.