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Open National Bank | Félix Auger-Aliassime shines in the house

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It was out of the question for Félix Auger-Aliassime to disappoint the fans crammed into the IGA stadium to see him in action on Wednesday night. Although he gave his fans a cold sweat early in the game, Quebecer forced himself, like a king of his kingdom, to win in two sets of 7-5 and 6-4 against Yoshihito Nishioka.

Updated yesterday at 11:54 pm

Nicola Riccardo

Nicola Riccardo
The print

Those who believed that this first match against Nishioka, 54And racket world, it would have been a ride to Jarry Park they were wrong. The Japanese were not easy prey.

He had reached the final of the Washington tournament a few days ago and had a career win record of two wins and one loss against Quebecer. Auger-Aliassime had to endure the pressure of playing in front of his team, on central, during the evening session.

“It is difficult to prepare for this, Auger-Aliassime explained after the meeting. This morning when I got up, I found myself very well, I rested at home, I spoke with my family, in silence. ”

He still explains that he felt something special when he heard his name when he arrived on the pitch. “A feeling that I can’t find anywhere else. He gave me the chills. ”

It was first the inconsistency that marked the start of the match for the headliner. Galvanized by the welcome he received when he entered the pitch and during the warm-up period, he set the tone for the first set with powerful and precise shots. On the other hand, he sometimes seemed short of solutions against a rival who gave him back almost everything.

It is in this dichotomous trend that the sixth suit had to negotiate.

While the Quebecer used his parallel forehand several times to defeat his opponent, his first serve had a hard time getting into the game – his success rate was only 25% after his first two serve sequences. .

As much as he managed to stir up the crowd with 24 winners in the first set, he caused murmurs with 25 unforced errors.

“A difficult first race. […] I still had good ideas and good intentions, but the execution wasn’t there, “admitted the main stakeholder.

However, the FAA survived and won the tiebreaker in the first set thanks to a backhand pass that ended with fists in the air, in total ecstasy.

However, Auger-Aliassime was tired of surviving. Above all, he wanted to exist and mark his territory for him. The second half is his and, despite not being able to score two match points at 5-3, he recovered very well thanks to an outgoing ace that the opponent did not even try to hit.

The one who turned 22And birthday two days ago he got himself a stupid gift. The audience cheered for long minutes after the game, as if they wanted more.

Keep calm

As Auger-Aliassime has to negotiate with the pressure of being the local favorite and the highest-scoring Quebec player in National Bank Open history, a new factor came into play on Wednesday. Daniil Medvedev, Carlos Alcaraz and Andrey Rublev, seeded first, second and fifth respectively, were all eliminated. The picture is therefore wide open for Quebecs.

Interest and enthusiasm for his performance will therefore increase as the tournament progresses, as some of the biggest threats have already been averted.

The key for him will be to stay focused on his task: “Everyone likes to project themselves into life, myself included, at times, but that’s the job of a player. It is being able to stay calm and stay calm. All the points we play, we have to earn them ourselves. ”

time for revenge

Auger-Aliassime therefore has an appointment on Thursday with Cameron Norrie (9). The story between the two players favors Quebecer. He has won four of their five fights. However, he suffered his only defeat to the Brit last week, in the semi-finals of the Los Cabos tournament. This setback is therefore still fresh in his memory.

“After facing him last week, yes, I lost, but that’s a good thing. ”

He also stated that Norrie is one of the best players in the world these days and, like their previous fights, the next match is going to be hard to win.

The ice is now broken for Félix Auger-Aliassime and expectations will increase day by day. With the downfall of the circuit titans, Quebec’s mission isn’t easy. He wants to reign, at home, with his fist in the air.

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