Felix Back In Business With Rotterdam Masterclass
Felix Auger-Aliassime delivered his best tennis to a packed crowd on Wednesday at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, producing a reel of flashy winners during his 6-4, 6-2 victory over Grigor Dimitrov to reach the quarter-finals in Rotterdam.
“It was for sure the best match I’ve played so far this year. It was so complete from start to finish,” Auger-Aliassime said. “It was an almost perfect match. To dictate most of the points, serve well and return well, I’m very happy.”
Auger-Aliassime stood well inside the baseline to crack deep returns, immediately putting Dimitrov on defence in his service games. After trading early breaks in the opening set, a big backhand return at 3-3 gave the #NextGenATP Canadian another break and swung the momentum firmly in his favour. Hitting big first serves to set up one-two punches with his forehand, Auger-Aliassime rode his slight lead to an early advantage.
The 19-year-old brought the crowd to its feet by taking the best point of the day in the second set. With Dimitrov serving at 30/0 in the opening game, acrobatic volleys from both men eventually led to a drop volley winner from Auger-Aliassime that brought a smile to his face.
He continued to ride the momentum by lacing a backhand passing shot to break Dimitrov for a 2-1 lead in the second set. Auger-Aliassime then broke the Bulgarian to love at 4-2 and comfortably served out the match after 78 minutes. The Canadian improved to 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.
Awaiting him in the next round is second-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas or Slovenian Aljaz Bedene. Auger-Aliassime leads his ATP Head2Head series with Tsitsipas 2-1, but lost their most recent clash last October in Shanghai.