Photo : Ben Solomon
It seems that every time Félix Auger-Aliassime and good friend Matteo Berrettini meet on court, it’s in a high-stake match. First, they faced each other in the Stuttgart finals in 2019, then the Wimbledon quarter-finals earlier this year, and today in the round of 16 at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
The previous meetings were nail biters and were both won by the Italian. But, that wasn’t the case today, as the young Canadian took down Berrettini 6-4, 6-3 and finally got his revenge over the World No. 8.
After exchanging breaks early in the opening set, Auger-Aliassime elevated his game and started to look like the better player.
The Canadian would cruise through his service games while Berrettini had to bail his way out of his. The Italian managed to save six break points in the first set, however, it wouldn’t be enough to stop the tenacious Auger-Aliassime.
Auger-Aliassime continued to apply pressure in the second set and got off to an early 3-0 lead. Berrettini, who’s still dealing with a thigh injury, never found his rhythm and couldn’t fight his way back into today’s contest. After one hour and 34 minutes, the World No. 17 punched his ticket to the Cincinnati quarter-finals.
Auger-Aliassime dominated when he kept his first serve in play, winning 88 percent of those points, while Berrettini won only 64 percent of points on first serves.
After a disappointing loss in the second round of the National Bank Open presented by Rogers, the Montreal-native has had a fantastic week in Cincinnati. He’s taken down two 2021 Wimbledon quarter-finalists, Marton Fucsovics and Karen Khachanov, and 2021 Wimbledon finalist, Berrettini.
His next opponent could be his toughest challenge yet, as he faces Greek superstar Stefanos Tsitsipas for a spot in the Cincinnati semi-finals.
A semi-final appearance would match a career-best for Auger-Aliassime at a Masters 1000 event. He accomplished that feat at the 2019 Miami Open, but lost in a thriller to American John Isner.