Photo : Getty/ATP Tour

Félix Auger-Aliassime has had a tremendous amount of success on grass so far in his career. The Canadian is fresh off a second final appearance at the MercedesCup but lost to former World No. 3 Marin Čilić of Croatia.

Auger-Aliassime’s biggest win ranking-wise was against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece (ranked No. 6 in 2019) on grass at the 2019 cinch Championships in London, England.

Not sure if that win compares to today’s, as Auger-Aliassime defeated 20-time Grand Slam champion and his childhood idol Roger Federer 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the round of 16 at the Noventi Open.

Despite dropping the first set, Auger-Aliassime played a brilliant match against the World No. 8.

After the first five games were easily won by the servers, Auger-Aliassime had the first look at breaking Federer in the sixth game of the first set. Federer fought off both break point opportunities with ease and delivered his third ace of the match to hold.

The 10-time champion in Halle made the first move and delivered a spectacular forehand down the line in the seventh game to break the young Canadian. It was Federer’s only break point opportunity in the first set and it would be enough to take the set 4-6.

In the second set, Auger-Aliassime regained his rhythm and converted on his second break point opportunity in the sixth game. The Canadian did not give Federer a chance to break back and won the set 6-3.

The match would need a third and final set to determine a winner.

It was an outstanding performance from Auger-Aliassime in the decider. He started the set with a double break and didn’t drop a single service game. Auger-Aliassime beat his childhood idol and continues to dominate on grass – even against tennis’ best. His record on the surface improves to 13-4.  

The Canadian had 37 winners, 15 unforced errors, and won 88 percent of his first serves.

Auger-Aliassime will face the winner between Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff and American Marcus Giron in the quarter-final. It will be Auger-Aliassime’s fifth quarter-final appearance so far this season.

Bianca Andreescu drops first match in Berlin

About two hours up the autobahn in Berlin, Bianca Andreescu was defeated in a tight opening round match 7-6(2), 7-5 by Alize Cornet.

Andreescu’s big hitting did as much damage to herself as it did to Cornet. She committed 31 unforced errors to only 27 winners, along with eight double faults.

Despite the loss, the Canadian’s fighting spirit was on full display. She trailed in both sets, by one break in the first and two in the second, but managed to fight back to level both times.

However, Cornet was not to be denied. She took a 77-minute opening set in a tiebreak and broke at 5-all in the second, holding on for the victory.

Andreescu will have one more warm-up event on the grass next week in Eastbourne before competing at Wimbledon for the first time since 2018 in two weeks.