For the first time in his career, Felix Auger-Aliassime has qualified for the quarter-finals at Indian Wells, the first Masters 1000 of the season, on Tuesday-Wednesday night. But it was not without difficulty: to achieve this, Quebec had to erase no fewer than six match points.
Six times, therefore, an unforced error from “FAA” or a winning shot from American Tommy Ball would have forced the tenth in the world to leave the California desert.
But by remaining “always positive”, as Felix explained to the media after winning the finals 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(6), by continuing to convince himself “that he wasn’t far away”, one by one Auger-Alessim erased The other points this game.
Three times in a face off, when he trailed 0-40, 6-5 in favor of Paul, the 17th-ranked player in the world.
Then on three occasions in tie-breaks, including once when it was the American, a recent semi-finalist at the Australian Open, who hit the winning end of the racket since he was serving.
“You have to take it one step at a time,” Kebek explained. It’s really a cliché, but it works. Here is the proof! I’m really happy to be out of it, it feels crazy. »
his best result
Felix wasn’t elated once he won the final point of the match, after a fight that lasted over 2 hours and 45 minutes, it was rather a huge relief that could be read on his face.
And for good reason: Indian Wells never smiled at the “FAA,” who reached the third round there just once, in 2019. But now he’s in the quarter-finals, where he’ll take on the tournament favorite, Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, Thursday.
Auger-Aliassime has now reached a quarter of the last Masters 1000 tournaments he has competed in. He found himself among the last eight players still in contention in seven of the nine events in the series, the most prestigious after the Grand Slams, since
The only exceptions are Monte Carlo and Shanghai, according to the ATP website.
Scored 3-0 against Alcaraz
But Kipker may still have to work hard to beat his next opponent.
Alcaraz, second in the world at the age of 19, has regained his splendor since injury sidelined him at the end of last season and the beginning of this season.
Alcaraz, who has been number one in the world for 20 weeks, has won a title and two finals since returning to competition.
The Spaniard also left little energy on the pitch in the last-16: he was leading 6-1 2-0 after 46 minutes when his British rival Jack Draper had to retire with justification.
But Felix can boast a career record of 3-0 against the young star.
He also beat it on two occasions last fall, in the Davis Cup and then in Basel.
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