Felix Auger-Aliassime got here of age on Monday at The Championships, Wimbledon, when the 20-year-old Canadian fought for his place in a primary Grand Slam quarter-final.
The #NextGenATP star not solely got here again from 2-4 down in each the primary and second units, however regrouped after a comeback from Alexander Zverev and a rain delay to beat the fourth-seeded German 6-4, 7-6(6), 3-6, 3-6, 6-4 on No. 1 Court docket.
“It’s a dream come true, I’m only a regular man from Canada,” mentioned Auger-Aliassime. “It’s the most important victory of my life, below a closed roof the environment was superb and I’m residing this win with you.”
In a match the place each gamers used their forehands to nice impact with a purpose to transfer up the court docket, Auger-Aliassime saved a set level at 5/6 within the second-set tie-break en path to solely the fifth Prime 10 win of his profession over simply 4 hours and two minutes. The Canadian struck 54 winners, together with 17 aces, dropping to his knees in celebration on the largest win of his profession.
“It was tremendous troublesome, figuring out I’ve by no means crushed him, not to mention received a set in opposition to Alex,” mentioned Auger-Aliassime. “When he began to come back again I actually wanted to dig deep and with out the followers it might have been so much more durable.”
Auger-Aliassime, who had gone 4-6 on the spring European clay swing below the mentorship of Toni Nadal, has confirmed up to now few weeks simply how a lot his sport is beginning to mature. Now with a 10-2 match document on grass in 2021, he’ll subsequent problem seventh-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini on Wednesday. The pair met in a high-quality MercedesCup last two years in the past, with Berrettini successful 6-4, 7-6(11) on Stuttgart’s grass.
“It sounds nice to be within the quarter-finals, in opposition to a very good pal of mine, top-of-the-line gamers on the earth,” mentioned Auger-Aliassime. “I believe it is going to be thrilling and I’ll try to play my greatest tennis.”
In a intently fought opening set, Zverev seemed to be in management. Auger-Aliassime received 4 straight sport to clinch the set, however was instantly on the again foot within the second set. As soon as once more, Zverev led 4-2, earlier than Auger-Aliassime staged one other comeback. Two aces and a forehand winner helped him to a 4/1 lead within the second-set tie-break, earlier than he misplaced 5 of the following six factors. He saved set level at 5/6 with an athletic smash.
To his credit score, Zverev regrouped. From 2-2 within the second set, the German received 12 of the following 14 factors for a 5-2 benefit and carried the momentum into the fourth set, successful the primary two video games. Zverev took the pair’s fourth ATP Head2Head assembly to a decider on the again of three consecutive errors from the Canadian.
With an early break and a 30/0 lead, Auger-Aliassime took management of the fifth set earlier than rain suspended play at 6:30pm native time. The encounter resumed 35 minutes later, with the Canadian holding a degree for a 3-0 lead on three events. Zverev battled again, however crucially missed a forehand volley at 3-3, 15/40 at hand his opponent the initiative.
Auger-Aliassime is the fifth Canadian to succeed in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, following within the footsteps of Robert Powell (1908, 1910, 1912), former finalist Milos Raonic (2014, 2016-18), Vasek Pospisil (2015) and tenth seed Denis Shapovalov, who earlier on Monday defeated eighth-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-3, 7-5.
Zverev is now 27-11 on the season, together with title runs on the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco (d. Tsitsipas) and the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Berrettini). He’s at the moment in fourth place within the FedEx ATP Race To Turin for a spot on the Nitto ATP Finals.