Felix Auger-Aliassime swinging racket

Photo : @swissindoorsbasel_official

After a tough defeat in the Japan Open a week ago, Felix Auger-Aliassime has bounced back in the best way. 

The Canadian took down Alexander Shevchenko in three sets 7-6(2), 3-6, 7-6(1) in a nail-biter of a quarter-finals match at the Swiss Indoors in Basel. Though Auger-Aliassime dropped the second set, his two big wins in the first and third sets paved the way for a poised victory. 

With his victory today, Auger-Aliassime has reached his first semifinals since February 2023 at the Qatar Open. 

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The match was a true battle of equals as it lasted over two and a half hours and resulted in two sets being decided by tiebreakers. While Shevchenko ran out of steam as the third set progressed, he put up a fight until the very end. 

Auger-Aliassime won his first set in a heated tiebreaker 7-6(2). The Canadian was on point as he secured six aces while scoring points in 73 per cent of his first serves. Though he was less dominant in his second serve, he still managed to score points on 53 per cent of them. 

He neither shined nor crumbled in his returns as he managed to break his opponent’s serve once in the first set. His opponent only broke Auger-Aliassime’s serve once as well in that same set. 

The second set went Shevchenko’s way, with the difference maker being a single break of serve in the fourth game that allowed Shevchenko to go on a big enough run to widen the gap. Auger-Aliassime’s serve remained strong despite dropping the second set, recording seven aces along the way and scoring points in 79 per cent of his first serves. 

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The third and final set, however, might have been the most rigorous of the three. The aces were even at three a piece, though the Canadian saw more success in his first serve points. They both also converted two break points each, but Shevchenko could not make the most of his serves during the tiebreaker. It was a lopsided finish to an otherwise tightly contested game, but Auger-Aliassime made the most of his opponent’s fatigue to seal it. 

With the trophy in his sights, Auger-Aliassime is now closer to repeating the victory he achieved in the same tournament a year ago. Tomorrow he’ll face Holder Rune (1) as he inches closer to defending his title.