Felix Auger-Aliassime waves to the crowd. He advanced to the Montpellier semifinals with a win on Friday.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

After narrowly surviving his opening match of the tournament, Félix Auger-Aliassime had much easier go in the quarter-finals of the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, defeating local wildcard Harold Mayot in straight sets. 

Auger-Aliassime played catch-up through the early stages of the first set, but as the match went along he began to assert himself. He finished by winning eight of the last nine games to claim a 7-5, 6-1 win at the ATP 250 event. 

The serve was strong for the Canadian in this encounter as he pounded 10 aces and limited his opponent to just two break point opportunities. He also took his chances well on return, converting five of six break points and winning 64 per cent of Mayot’s second serve points. 

It was the Frenchman applying the pressure early and Auger-Aliassime struggled, missing back-to-back forehands to drop serve in the third game. He responded immediately in the following game, only to hand Mayot another break with another missed forehand. 

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Once again, Auger-Aliassime was able to break right back to level at 3-3 and this time, he managed to settle down, firing three aces in the following game to end the run of breaks. 

The next few games were routine holds before the Canadian made his move in the 12th game. A nervy game by Mayot serving to stay in the set opened the door for Auger-Aliassime and he used a couple of impressive backhands to break for the set. 

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Set two was all Auger-Aliassime, as he broke in the second game on his way to a 3-0 lead. He never gave Mayot a chance to get back in the match. The Frenchman gifted another break in the sixth game and the Canadian slammed the door, serving out the match with three aces in the final game. 

In the previous round, Auger-Aliassime had narrowly escaped against another Frenchman, Arthur Cazaux, who had served for the match at 5-4 in the third set before the Canadian escaped with a win in the third-set tiebreak. 

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Next up for the third seed is a semifinal clash with the second seed Alexander Bublik. Bublik narrowly edged Auger-Aliassime’s countryman Denis Shapovalov in the second round, saving three match points in an epic second-set tiebreak which Bublik eventually took 14-12 before going on to win in three. 

Auger-Aliassime leads the head-to-head with Bublik 2-1, with both of his wins coming on hard courts while Bublik’s victory was on clay. Their last meeting was the 2022 Basel quarter-final, won by the Canadian in straight sets.