Photo: camerawork usa
Canada’s Félix Auger-Aliassime had a lot to celebrate in February. The 21-year-old reached consecutive finals, won his first singles title at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament and led the ATP Tour in wins (tied with Rafael Nadal). Unfortunately, March hasn’t treated Auger-Aliassime quite the same way, as he was ousted in his opening match in Indian Wells and again today at the Miami Open.
Auger-Aliassime received a first-round bye in Miami, and therefore was playing his first match on Saturday against world No. 48 Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia. Kecmanovic, who is fresh off of a quarter-finals appearance in Indian Wells, had the hot hand and dominated the contest on Grandstand Court to take it in straight-sets, 6-4, 6-2.
Kecmanovic now leads his head-to-head with Auger-Aliassime 2-0.
In the first set, the opening game could have been a great indicator of how the match was going to play out. Auger-Aliassime was forced to fend off two break points and just squeezed his way out of his service game. Kecmanovic had another look at break in the fifth and seventh games and finally converted on his fourth opportunity to take the lead.
Auger-Aliassime then had a terrific opportunity to strike back in the eighth game, as he had a total of six break point opportunities in that game alone. But the tenacious Serb turned them all aside and eventually clinched the set in the 10th game.
There wasn’t much to cheer about in the second set, as Auger-Aliassime was broken to love twice and didn’t have a break point chance of his own. The Serb sealed the victory on his second match point in the eighth game.
Kecmanovic will face the winner of Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain and American Sebastian Korda in the third round.