Photo : Noventi Open/Mathias Schultz
Félix Auger-Aliassime was coming off arguably the biggest win of his career on Wednesday over his childhood idol Roger Federer and hoped to keep the momentum going in today’s quarter-final at the Noventi Open.
The Canadian did just that, taking down qualifier Marcos Giron of the United States 6-3, 6-2 to advance to his third semi-final of the season.
Giron was having a tremendous tournament so far. He defeated Vasek Pospisil of Canada and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany in straight sets. But, the American’s tournament would come to an end today after running into a red-hot Auger-Aliassime.
Despite only being 20 years old, today’s match heavily favoured Auger-Aliassime based on experience. It was Auger-Aliassime’s 16th quarter-final appearance at the ATP level compared to 27-year-old Giron’s second.
Auger-Aliassime showcased his skills right out the gate and delivered two consecutive aces to start the match. He had eight aces and won 89 percent of points on first serves in the first set.
The only moment the Canadian was under any kind of pressure was in the fifth game when he faced a break point at two games apiece. The Canadian fought off Giron’s break point and followed it up with a break point opportunity of his own in the sixth game – which Auger-Aliassime put away.
In the second set, Auger-Aliassime continued to dominate – something that’s said a lot when the Canadian plays on grass.
He broke his opponent in the third and fifth game and didn’t allow Giron a chance to break back. Serving for the match in the eighth game, Auger-Aliassime was able to deliver a clean service game and wrap up the match.
After a quick 58-minute contest, the 20-year-old had 25 winners, 14 aces, and only seven unforced errors.
Auger-Aliassime now has a 14-4 record on grass and hopes to make back-to-back final appearances for the first time in his career.
He will need to get by the winner of Ugo Humbert of France on Saturday to accomplish that feat.
Shapovalov leads in London
Across the channel, Denis Shapovalov was also looking to reach a semi-final as he took on American Frances Tiafoe at the cinch Championships.
However, the match was delayed well into the afternoon due to rain and was eventually suspended overnight after Shapovalov won the opening set.
When play finally got underway on court one, rather than the originally-scheduled Centre Court, the American had the first chance to break in the third game when he took a 15-40 lead on Shapovalov’s serve, but the Canadian was up to the task, saving both.
Tiafoe looked to have escaped a threat against his own serve when he drew a mishit return from Shapovalov straight up into the air at 2-3, 30-40. But the American failed to put away the overhead and second seed ripped a backhand down the line that drew an error to take a 4-2 lead.
The Canadian went on to take the set 6-3.
The match will be concluded tomorrow, with the winner taking on Cameron Norrie later in the day in the semi-finals.