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Tennis: Felix Auger-Aliassime advances to the quarter-finals in Basel

Tennis: Felix Auger-Aliassime advances to the quarter-finals in Basel

BASEL, Switzerland – It took Felix Auger-Aliassime only 49 minutes to crush Serbian Miomir Kekmanovic 6-1 6-0 in the second round of the Tennis Championships in Basel on Thursday.

After allowing Kikmanovic to tie the score 1-1 in the first set, Auger-Aliassime, the ninth player in the world and number three in the tournament, won 46 of the next 62 points, including the last nine of the standoff, and completed five points. Consecutive interruptions of service.

Two of those 16 points scored by Kikmanovic, 28th in the ATP rankings, were the result of double faults by Auger-Aliassime.

En route to his 10th win in a row, 22-year-old Montrealer racked up 10 aces, faced no break points and earned 22 out of a potential 24 after hitting his first serve in play.

Auger-Aliassime also scored 21 winners against just two for Kikmanovic and made six non-compulsive fouls, one less than the Serbian.

In Friday’s quarter-finals, Oger-Aliassim will face Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik, who beat Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday.

It will be the third meeting between Auger-Aliassime and Bublik, the 38th player in the world, and the first since Bublik’s 6-4, 6-2 victory over Montrealer in Hamburg, on clay, in 2020.

The year before, at the Masters 1000 in China, Bublik retired when Auger-Aliassime was leading 7-6 (5), 4-0.

If Auger-Alessem beat Publik, he could find world number one Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Alcaraz will face compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta tomorrow in the quarter-finals.

In another match of the round of 16 on Thursday, Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Britain’s Andy Murray 6-3, 6-2.

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Wawrinka in the quarter-finals

Stanislas Wawrinka defeated American Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to advance to the quarter-finals.

The Swiss, who is now 194th in the world after leaving the top ten in 2018, continues his momentum after defeating Casper Ruud (third in the world) in the first round of the championship.

If the 37-year-old veteran, still solid on serve (9 aces, as in his previous game), easily won the first set after a break at 5-4, the tide turned in the second.

The start smiled at Wawrinka who broke (4-3) before breaking while serving the match with a score of 5-4. Then the American returned to win the second set 7-5.

Grinning, the former world number three pitted Nakashima in the third set, backed by Halle Saint-Jacques fans, broke to advance 5-4 before winning his serve.

“It is certain that with this support it is always easier to fight,” the Swiss commented on the ATP microphone after lamenting he could not finish the match in the second set.

Having fallen to 361 in the ATP rankings in May, the Swiss is slowly climbing the slope after a semi-final in Metz in September, giving up at the start of the match.

His long career – Wawrinka turned pro in 2002 – was marked by several injuries and operations, two to the left knee in 2017 and two to the left foot in 2021, which complicated his comeback to a high.

In the quarter-finals, he will meet with Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut (34 years old, 22nd in the world), top scorer Andy Murray.

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Wawrinka admitted about his next match against the Spaniard: “It will be complicated, and again I will have to serve very well and play hard.”

In their last confrontation, in 2019 in Qatar, Roberto Bautista Agut was victorious in two sets.

Holger Ron defeated Ugo Humbert

Holger Ron easily beat France’s Ugo Humbert 6-4, 6-2, to earn a place in the quarter-finals.

The 19-year-old Dane, in good shape after his title in Stockholm on Sunday against Stefanos Tsitsipas, made short work of the French ATP’s 103rd seed.

Holger Ron (25th in the world) took control from the start of the match, breaking in the first set (5-4) and then winning the close 6-4.

In the second set, Ron took his opponent’s serve twice, and conceded only two matches.

In the quarter-finals, he will meet French goalkeeper Patrick Mouratoglu, Arthur Rinderknic (51).