Félix Auger-Aliassime came back from behind to finally win in three sets of 4-6, 7-6 (2) and 7-6 (4) against Belarusian Egor Gerasimov on Wednesday in the second round of the bett1HULKS Championship , an ATP 250 tournament presented in Cologne, Germany.
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The 20-year-old Quebecer, fifth favorite of the event by virtue of his 22e world rank, even saw his opponent serve for the game when he was ahead 6-4, 6-5.
Auger-Aliassime replied with aplomb to Gerasimov, 87e in the world, breaking it at 12e game of the second set and dominating the tiebreaker.
The Quebecer in turn served for the game after taking a 5-4 lead in the third set. It was then the Belarusian’s turn to respond with a break in service, wiping out three match points, to push the set to the limit.
Ultimately, Auger-Aliassime won in 2 h 45 min. He was broken four times on 10 occasions and won a total of three games on his rival’s serve. The Quebecer managed 15 aces in the game.
“We saw this evening how cruel tennis can be sometimes,” said the Quebecer in an interview with ATP. He had his chance to serve for the game in the second set. He was playing really good tennis and I tried to hang in there, stay calm and do different things to adjust. I was a little nervous serving with three match points, but these are things that happen and I’m happy to have come back in the last game to win. ”
This is for him a second victory this year against the Belarusian, whom he defeated in February in Marseille. In the third round, Auger-Aliassime will face the winner of the duel between the German Jan-Lennard Struff, 32e to the world, to the Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka, 56e.
Raonic starts off with a bang
For his part, Canada’s Milos Raonic defeated Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia in two sets of 6-3, 7-6 (7) in a first-round match at the tournament in Antwerp, Belgium.
The winner dominated with 17 aces in the 1 hour 25 minute duel, committing just one double fault, compared to five for his rival. For his part, Bedene conceded the only break in the game. The 52e ATP racquet suffered a fourth failure in as many career outings against the Ontarian.
Sixth seed in the competition and 19e World player Raonic will face Briton Cameron Norrie in his next match. The favorite of the event is local player David Goffin.