Quebecer Félix Auger-Aliassime saved three match points in the second set to come back and dispose of Briton Cameron Norrie at 2-6, 7-6 (6) and 6-4 on Thursday in a duel second round at the Vienna tennis tournament.
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For the winner, who took more than 2 hours 30 minutes to win, it was quite a stroke of brilliance, because he almost bent his back at the tiebreaker in the middle round. Late 6-3, he won five unanswered points to force the holding of an ultimate set. Among other things, a winning volley as his rival entered the net allowed him to survive the second of three match points against him.
Well supported by this spectacular comeback, the 21-year-old continued his momentum by securing all the points on Norrie’s serve in the fifth game of the final set. He ended the hostilities with a solid strike on his third match point.
“I just wanted to keep in mind that I wasn’t going to surrender so easily. I wanted to force him to fight and earn his triumph in the second set, he told the ATP website. He did well, I was three match points behind. In a way, I was lucky. He was so close to winning, but I hit this amazing shot to save it all. Sometimes the margin is slim. It was today and I will take it. “
“It’s a very important victory to stay alive in the race. If I had lost, the odds of qualifying would have been very low, Auger-Aliassime added of his battle for a place in the end-of-season professional tour tournament reserved for the top eight players of the year. It keeps me alive, but there is still a long way to go. ”
Auger-Aliassime, holder of the 12e echelon on the international scene, made a break on six occasions at the expense of the holder of the 14th place and champion of the recent tournament of Indian Wells. At the start of the week, he occupied the 12e echelon in this race to the end of the year competition. The Quebecer was behind the Pole Hubert Hurkacz, currently holder of the last place giving access to the event. Norrie and the Italian Jannik Sinner were between them in the standings.
In the quarter-finals, he will face the German Alexander Zverev, second seed and fourth in the world, who defeated Australia’s Alex de Minaur, 32e of the ATP circuit, in three rounds later in the day. It will be a fifth clash between Zverev and “FAA”, who lost the first three meetings before surprising their opponent in the round of 16 at Wimbledon this year, winning in five innings.
Double end of course
Later that day, the Maple Leaf representative returned to the grounds of Vienna, accompanied by his German partner Andreas Mies. The two men, however, lost in three sets of 3-6, 7-6 (7) and 6-10, against American Rajeev Ram and Briton Joe Salisbury.
The second seed easily took away the honors in the first set, but neither pair offered break points to the other in the second set, to the advantage of Auger-Aliassime and his breaking partner. equality.
The winners were particularly dominant on serve, who won 44 of 51 rallies after putting their first ball in play, in addition to hitting eight aces.