Photo : Swiss Indoors Basel
To say Félix Auger-Aliassime is playing the best tennis of his career might be an understatement.
The Canadian No. 1 had one of the most dominant performances of his career on Thursday in Basel, needing just 49 minutes to dispatch Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1, 6-0 in the second round, stretching his winning streak to a career-best 10 matches in a row.
“It’s tough tot play better than that for my part,” said Auger-Aliassime in his post-match interview. “It was the best match I’ve played in my whole life. Not just my career, since I was a kid.”
It is the Canadian’s second straight-set win over Kecmanovic since the US Open. Prior to their meeting at the Davis Cup in September, the Serb had led their head-to-head 2-0.
Auger-Aliassime did everything right, hitting 21 winners, more points than Kecmanovic won in the entire match, to his opponent’s two and only committing six unforced errors. His serve was untouchable, as he hit more aces (10) than the Serb won return points (eight).
At no point in the match did it look particularly close, as Auger-Aliassime needed a mere 26 minutes to take the opening set, striking 13 winners in just seven games and only committing three unforced errors.
Kecmanovic put up little resistance in the first set, only managing two of his own winners and committing four unforced errors, including back-to-back from deuce to surrender the break in the fourth game.
Two games later, an Auger-Aliassime forehand winner followed by a Kecmanovic backhand long set the Canadian up to serve out the set, which he promptly did to love.
Rather than resetting after the first set, the Canadian upped the ante in the second, ripping a forehand winner for a love break to start the set.
Auger-Aliassime kept his foot on the gas and was rewarded with another error off the Serb’s racquet for a double break lead at 3-0. Barely any resistance was put up as the Canadian sped towards the finish line, adding one more break before capping off the dominant victory with another hold to love, sealed with an ace.
The win further bolsters the Canadian’s hopes of qualifying for the ATP Finals in Turin. He leads Taylor Fritz, who was knocked out of Vienna yesterday by Auger-Aliassime’s countryman Denis Shapovalov, by over 300 points and is closing in on Andrey Rublev, who also lost early in Vienna, for sixth in the race.
Next up for Auger-Aliassime is Alexander Bublik in the Basel quarter-finals. The pair have split their previous two meetings, although the last match was on clay in 2020. A potential showdown with world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz looms in the semifinals.