Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

Félix Auger-Aliassime delivered his best win of the season on Monday, upsetting Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-4, 7-5 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open.

Competing on Arantxa Sanchez Stadium, the 23-year-old produced a complete performance to overcome the three-time Grand Slam finalist in one hour, 59 minutes.  

In a competitive first set, it was the Canadian who dictated play in the high-altitude conditions, controlling the points with his forehand and using his deft skills at net.

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After trading service holds until 3-all, the Montreal native made the first move, pressuring the Norwegian with deep returns. A pair of unforced errors from Ruud opened the door as Auger-Aliassime struck a forehand winner to seize the first break of the match.

He stayed in front on the scoreboard, backing his service games by winning 11 of 12 points at the net in the first set.

Photo – Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

He would close with a hold of serve to take the opener 6-4 in 46 minutes.

Auger-Aliassime maintained his pressure early in the second set, breaking in the opening service game and staving off a pair of chances for Ruud to hold for a 2-0 lead.

See also: Monday Digest – Auger-Aliassime making strides in Madrid

However, the Norwegian had a bout of momentum, hitting a highlight reel running forehand pass off the Canadian’s drop shot volley to break back for 2-2. Auger-Aliassime weathered another storm from Ruud to hold for 3-3. He again had to keep his composure at 4-5, escaping a 15-30 scoreline to get the set back on even terms.

Using his court coverage and athleticism on return, he again pressured Ruud, drawing more unforced errors to secure a crucial break for a 6-5 lead.

He closed out proceedings on serve, finishing with a winner at net on match point to complete the straight sets victory.

Auger-Aliassime finished with 33 winners in total, with 25 coming from his forehand side. It is his best career victory on clay by ranking, as he returns to the quarter-finals of Madrid for the second time.

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With the win, the Montreal native also improves his head-to-head against Ruud to 2-3. He is through to his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal since reaching the last eight of Indian Wells last year.

He’ll face top-seeded Jannik Sinner of Italy next.