Felix Auger-Aliassime pumps his fist.

Photo : @EuroTennisOpen

If the most difficult opponent for a tennis player is a wall, Félix Auger-Aliassime might have an idea of how to finally beat one after he figured out a way past Dan Evans on Friday in Antwerp.

The pesky Brit did everything in his power to send every ball back at Auger-Aliassime in their quarter-final clash, but the Canadian eventually managed to hit through him as he rallied for a three-set win.

Chances were few and far between for both men, but as the match went on Auger-Aliassime built momentum on serve and found his best tennis is the key moments as he advanced to the semifinals of the European Open with a 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 victory.  

As has been the case much of the year on indoor hard courts, Auger-Aliassime’s serve was dominant. He won an impressive 76 per cent of his second serve points, hit nine aces, and limited Evans to just one break point. He was also strong after the first shot, striking 40 winners, more than double his unforced errors (18) and far more than Evan’s 22.

One spectacular shot from Evans was really the difference in the first set as the Brit pulled out an incredible lob winner to set up what ended up being the only break point in the opening frame. Auger-Aliassime shanked a forehand to surrender the break and never had a chance to reclaim it.

While Evans continued to serve well in the second set, Auger-Aliassime picked up his level and it was his turn not to allow his opponent single look at a break. The Canadian had three break points in the fourth game, but could not convert any of them.

Auger-Aliassime continued his much-improved serving in the second set tiebreak, not losing a point on his own delivery. He got a minibreak for a 4-2 lead with a booming backhand that drew an error. On his second set point at 6-4, the Canadian curled a forehand passing shot winner up the line to send the match to a decider.

Finally, the Canadian managed to achieve his first break of the match early in the third set when, despite having saved two break points from 15-40 down, Evans missed a passing shot down the line to give the his opponent the initiative at 2-1.

The Canadian quickly consolidated the break with a hold to love. He continued to keep his level high as Evans at long last started to show the wear and tear from how much running Auger-Aliassime had been making him do all match.

A sloppy game from the Brit ended with a slice long to set Auger-Aliassime up to serve out the match at 5-2. Having not faced a break point since being broken in the third game of the match, the Canadian capped off the comeback with a forehand winner.

Auger-Aliassime will look to reach back-to-back finals for the second time this season when he takes on Richard Gasquet in the semifinals on Saturday. The Canadian, seeded second, is the lone seed left in the Antwerp draw.