Felix Auger-Aliassime hits a forehand during his loss to Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

If there is one name Félix Auger-Aliassime does not want to see in his section of the draw at any tournament, it must be Daniil Medvedev, especially at the Australian Open. 

The Canadian saw his run at the year’s first major come to an end on Saturday at the hands of the former world No. 1 in straight sets. Auger-Aliassime is now 0-7 against Medvedev, including two losses in the last three years in Melbourne, and has lost ten sets in a row after a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 defeat in the third round of the 2024 edition. 

This year’s clash was no repeat of the 2022 epic in the quarter-finals, the last time the Canadian took a set against the 2021 US Open champion, as Medvedev got off to a quick start and never relinquished control, taking advantage of some sloppy play by Auger-Aliassime to advance in straight sets. 

Too many mistakes cost the Canadian in this clash, as he committed 43 unforced errors while only connecting on 19 winners. His serve lacked its usual dominance, only winning 67 per cent of his first serve points and being broken five times.  

Medvedev was far more efficient, winning 78 per cent of his first serve points and hitting 23 winners to 25 unforced errors. He also broke serve in every game where he held break points in the match.  

The two-time Australian Open finalist was coming in on shorter rest after finishing his round two match well after 3 am on Friday morning in Melbourne, but he did not need to be sharp to start the match as Auger-Aliassime committed five forehand unforced errors in the third game alone to go down an early break. 

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Defending his serve well, Medvedev hung on through the first set and ended up being gifted a second break when the Montrealer double-faulted on set point. 

Auger-Aliassime quickly put that tough finish behind him and came out much stronger to start the second set, taking advantage of an error-filled game from Medvedev to break in the opening game and backed it up with a hold to love. 

But despite the Canadian moving as far ahead as 3-1, his momentum was short-lived. In the sixth game, Auger-Aliassime’s forehand vanished and he committed four unforced errors off that wing to put the set back on serve.  

The forehand, normally Auger-Aliassime’s most dominant rally shot, continued to let him down at key moments. As he served to stay in the second set, he missed three in a row to once again be broken to drop the set. 

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In their 2022 quarter-final, Medvedev rallied from two sets down to break the Canadian’s heart. Auger-Aliassime had a chance to return the favour in this clash two years later but was going to need to increase his consistency. However, there are few players on tour as difficult to find a rhythm against as Medvedev. 

The self-proclaimed hard-court specialist continued to frustrate Auger-Aliassime in the third set, sending every ball back and the Canadian was not striking the ball consistently enough to find a solution. 

In the fourth game, more unforced errors flew off the Canadians racket to set up a break point, which Medvedev gladly claimed with a forehand crosscourt winner. 

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Even though Auger-Aliassime would not lose another point on serve, he failed to create a break-back opportunity as Medvedev hung on to remain perfect against the Canadian. 

Reaching the third round of this year’s Australian Open was still Auger-Aliassime’s best Grand Slam result since last year’s trip to Melbourne, where he reached the fourth round, snapping a three-Slam streak of losing in the first round. He has not reached the quarter-finals of any major since the loss to Medvedev at Melbourne Park in 2022. 

With the defeat, no Canadians remain in singles at the 2024 Australian Open. Gabriela Dabrowski is still alive in the women’s and mixed doubles. Rob Shaw will compete in the quad wheelchair events and Keegan Rice will be competing in the junior boys competition, which have yet to begin.