A pair of Canadians laid claim to Court No. 1 at Queen’s Club on Thursday.

Making his debut at the Fever-Tree championships, Félix Auger-Aliassime kicked things off on Court No. 1 by defeating Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the second round. Immediately after the completion of that match, Milos Raonic took to that same court to secure his spot in the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 7-6(3) victory over Aljaz Bedene. All before Félix took down Australia’s Nick Kyrgios 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 7-5 in their first-ever meeting to join his compatriot in the quarters.

It was a tall task for the Montrealer, but he delivered in big way on Thursday.

In his opening match against the 2014 champion, Grigor Dimitrov, the 18 year old converted on his first break point opportunity to grab a 4-3 lead. He then closed out the first set with one of 9 aces – eight more than his Bulgarian counterpart. In the second set, Félix came out gunning. The No.8-seeded Canadian scored a break in the opening game and held serve the rest of the way.

Overall, Auger-Aliassime was dominant on his serve – recording 15 aces and won 35 of 41 first-serve points, while saving a total of two break points in the match to secure a win in his first-ever meeting against Dimitrov.

That set up another first-career encounter for Félix. This time he faced off against Kyrios with a spot in the quarter-finals on the line. Before the match, the enigmatic Aussie was already joking with the fans in London that Auger-Aliassime would likely win.

In the opening set, the Canadian teenager did his best to live up to those expectations. After both players held serve to force a tiebreak, Kyrgios hit a great drop shot before putting away a volley to secure a mini-break and grab a 5-4 lead. From there, the Australian would win his next two service points to win the set.

But, in the second set, Félix wouldn’t be denied. After both players forced another tiebreak, the Canadian scored a couple of mini-breaks early thanks to a cross-court volley and a powerful two-hand backhand to jump ahead 4-1. Auger-Aliassime would then win three of the last five points to force a third and decisive set.

Once there, Félix scored the only break point of the match in the last game – hitting a fantastic cross-court winner to secure his spot in the quarter-finals against the top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Competing on grass for the first time in his professional career, Auger-Aliassime has flourished on this surface. He has found even greater success with his strengths on serve – having hit 95 aces in his past five matches.

Auger-Aliassime was also playing for the first time since losing in the Mercedes Cup final to Italy’s Mateo Berrettini. It was the third final of his career and season. His run in Stuttgard also made Félix the youngest player to reach SFs on three or more surfaces in a season since Lleyton Hewitt in 1999.

Félix was also scheduled to play doubles with Kyrgios’ countryman Alex de Minaur before it was rescheduled to Friday. The pair is set to face off against the British team of Daniel Evans and Ken Skupski in the opening round.

Milos remains unbeaten on grass in 2019

Photo: Mike Frey/TPN

After Court 1 was cleared of the Auger-Aliassime-Dimitrov match, Milos Raonic laid claim to the court by defeating Slovenian wild card Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 7-6(3) to secure his spot in the Queen’s Club quarter-finals.

It didn’t take the No.6-seeded Canadian much time to get going. Raonic scored a break point in his first return game of the match, helping him win the first three games of the first set. Despite struggling on his first serve, putting in play just 52% of them, Raonic managed to win 11 of 14 second-serve points which helped him grab the early lead.

In the second set, after giving just a break point for the second time during this grass-court season, Milos fought back. Trailing 3-1, with Bedene serving, Raonic rallied from a 40-0 deficit by winning six points in a row to earn a break point of his own. Then, in the tiebreak, the 28 year old from Thornhill started things off by scoring a mini-break thanks to a nice forehand winner that painted the line. He used that momentum to win six of the last nine points to close out the match.

Milos has now won all five of his matches on grass this season, with the exception of his walk-over against Auger-Aliassime in the Mercedes Cup semi-finals.

Next up, he’ll face Spanish wild card Feliciano Lopez in the quarter-finals. Lopez received a walk-over into the quarters, after No.3-seeded Juan Martin del Potro was forced to withdraw from the tournament after he fractured his right knee.

(Photo: Peter Staples/ATP Tour)