Felix Auger-Aliassime’s red-hot streak might have hit a latest blip, however the Canadian couldn’t be stored down for lengthy on the Nitto ATP Finals.
The fifth seed bounced again impressively from his opening defeat to Casper Ruud on the season finale in Turin, the place he defeated high seed Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday to notch his maiden victory on the prestigious season finale.
“I believe having one match right here, I obtained used to the situations on centre courtroom,” Auger-Aliassime mentioned. “It helped me so much. I felt my sport was higher as we speak. My serve was nice and return and backhand was a lot better. I used to be hitting it with my extra consistency and high quality. When I’m enjoying like this, I’ve confirmed I can compete and beat among the greatest gamers on the earth.”
Regardless of the loss, Nadal has not been eradicated from competition for year-end No. 1 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. If Ruud wins a set towards Taylor Fritz on Tuesday night, Nadal might be eradicated from semi-final competition in Turin and subsequently Carlos Alcaraz will clinch year-end World No. 1.
Auger-Aliassime withstood some early stress from the top-seeded Nadal, recovering from 15/40 to carry serve within the each the primary and seventh video games of the primary set. The Canadian produced exact serving and struck the ball cleanly off each wings at essential moments all through, saving 5 of 5 break factors to enhance his report in Inexperienced Group to 1-1. He’ll tackle Taylor Fritz in his remaining round-robin match on the Pala Alpitour as he seeks to succeed in the semi-finals on event debut.
“I’m one win, one loss now. If I can get two wins, hopefully I can get by means of, so let’s see the way it goes,” Auger-Aliassime mentioned. “They’ll play it out tonight and I might be prepared for Taylor in two days. It gained’t be straightforward. He has been enjoying actually good this yr and these situations are excellent for him.
“I’ll use the expertise of Toni [Nadal] in these conditions. He has been an important assist to me. I’ve a tonne of respect for him and his household. It’s particular to play Rafa with Toni right here, however on the identical time we’re rivals, and we attempt our greatest.”
The standard of Auger-Aliassime’s serving efficiency is mirrored in his INSIGHTS Serve High quality numbers for the match. He fired 15 aces and gained 81 per cent (39/48) of factors behind his first supply within the one-hour, 57-minute encounter.
Felix Auger-Aliassime Insights” />
Felix Auger-Aliassime: INSIGHTS Serve High quality Vs. Rafael Nadal
The 22-year-old was delighted to have defeated his childhood idol Nadal for the primary time in three appearances. Auger-Aliassime had come near the feat within the pair’s most up-to-date tour-level assembly at Roland Garros in Might, however the legendary Spaniard finally prevailed in a five-set epic.
“I wasn’t certain If I’d be right here sooner or later or if I might solely dream of it,” mentioned Auger-Aliassime. “The age distinction is big, and it proves what a champion he’s and what an instance as a result of he’s nonetheless right here at 36, battling towards guys of their younger 20s. He is a superb champion and has an important angle.”
Nadal appeared eager to atone for his opening defeat towards Fritz in Turin as he carved out two break factors within the first sport towards Auger-Aliassime. Nevertheless, because it did so typically throughout his late-season cost, the Canadian constantly produced large deliveries to flee.
Having had little impression in return video games within the early levels, Auger-Aliassime made his transfer within the eighth sport, clinching the one break of the set as his skill to strike clear winners within the quick situations got here to the fore.
The momentum stayed with the Canadian within the early levels of the second set and he ramped up the stress on Nadal with a break for 2-1. Regardless of some flashes of brilliance from the Spaniard, he was unable to continuously dictate factors as Auger-Aliassime completed the match having struck 32 winners to Nadal’s 13.