Photo : Martin Sidorjak
Despite a terrific two weeks of tennis and a career-best Grand Slam result, Félix Auger-Aliassime won’t be joining compatriot Denis Shapovalov in the Wimbledon semi-finals on Friday.
Auger-Aliassime faced World No. 9 Matteo Berrettini of Italy on Wednesday and lost the tight encounter 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3.
Auger-Aliassime and Berrettini are good friends off the court but had to set those feelings aside ahead of their quarter-final clash at the All-England Club.
The pair have only played each other once before – at the Stuttgart Open Final in 2019. Berrettini emerged as the champion after beating Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-6(11).
The Italian now leads their head-to-head 2-0.
After the servers breezed through their first service games, a couple of missed shots by Auger-Aliassime gave Berrettini two early looks at break. Auger-Aliassime managed to save the first break point, but sent a backhand long on the second.
Berrettini added to his lead in the fifth game, converting once again on his second break point opportunity.
Up 5-2 and serving for the set, the World No. 9 got off to a 40-0 start. However, Auger-Aliassime wasn’t ready to let go of the opening set and fought his way back to deuce. A total of four set points were saved by the Canadian before he broke Berrettini’s serve for the first time in today’s contest.
The Canadian’s momentum didn’t carry over to the next game, as he was broken by the powerful Italian.
Despite dropping the first set, Auger-Aliassime only allowed Berrettini to hit a single ace. Coming into today’s match, the Italian lead the tournament with an astonishing 67 aces in a meager 13 sets.
In the second set, Auger-Aliassime earned the first break of serve in the third game. He followed it up with a hold to love and looked poised to take the second set and tie the match.
But, Berrettini came through on his second break opportunity of the set to tie it at 3-3.
In Auger-Aliassime’s next service game, Berrettini had three more chances to break the Canadian. Auger-Aliassime upped his game and fought off the Italian’s break opportunities to keep the set tied.
The court appeared to tilt in favour of the Canadian, as he broke Berrettini in the 11th and won eight of his last nine points on serve, including back-to-back aces in the 12th to close out the second set.
After a total of 22 break point opportunities were seen in the first two sets, there were only three in the third. Berrettini managed to save both break points he faced in the fourth game. The third break point took a while to produce, as the servers were dialed in for the entirety of the set.
It took until the 12th game for Berrettini to get his chance to break Auger-Aliassime’s serve. He made no mistake and converted on his lone opportunity. Unfortunately for Auger-Aliassime, it was on set point.
Berrettini backed up his World No. 9 ranking in the fourth set, as he flipped the switch and took control of the match.
The World No. 9 broke Auger-Aliassime’s first service game and didn’t give the Canadian a chance to break back. He had five aces, zero double faults, and won 84 percent of points on first serves in the set.
Auger-Aliassime’s stellar run comes to an end. He’s now 10-3 on grass this year, including impressive wins over Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev.
Berrettini will now face a fresh Hubert Hurkacz on Friday. Hurkacz only needed three sets to take down the 8-time Wimbledon champion Federer on Wednesday.