Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov done at Miami Open
- Author: Rosalie Stanley Mar 31, 2019,
Mar 31, 2019, 0:59
Not only did he become the youngest player to reach the last four in the Miami Open's 35-year history, but when the new rankings are released next week, Auger-Aliassime will become the first player born in the 2000s to reach the top 50 of the ATP rankings.
The 18-year-old from Canada lost in straight sets and with a double breaker, but he has a lot to think about it. Felix had the opportunity to serve-out both sets while leading 5-4 in the opener and 5-3 in the second set.
"I couldn't put a second serve (in) any more".
"Everyone is super excited back home".
"Similar to today, I've just got to make sure I protect my serve very well and slice maybe sometimes, get into the rallies, and then find a way". "I didn't feel like it was the focus or concentration".
Roger Federer will guarantee a move to No. 4 from his current ranking of No. 5 if he beats Kevin Anderson in Thursday's quarter-finals. "You know, that's all I can ask at this point".
The hard-hitting Basilashvili dominated much of the first set against Auger-Aliassime and finally got a break to go up 6-5.
Over his eight Miami Open matches - including qualifying, Auger-Aliassime had 38 double faults, which averages out to 4.7 per match.
The shortcomings against Isner should not overshadow the fact that Auger-Aliassime served brilliantly and to devastating effect in winning other matches - flawless examples being against No. 36 Marton Fucsovics in the second round and No. 19 Nikoloz Basilashvili in the round-of-16.
As Coric was dismantled in the quarter-finals of the Masters 1000 event, it was impossible to escape the feeling that it was Auger-Aliassime's breakthrough moment, his run speaking of a coming of age.
"I was just thinking in the locker room how far back we go, and from the national groupings when we were eight and nine years old, so it's so insane to see how far we have come".
"I try to play good tennis every time I'm out there on the court, so that's been my way of thinking and that's how I play my best tennis as well". "I think all the Canadian players from the young kids to Denis and Bianca (Andreescu) and I, there is a lot of belief right now, so it's great to see".
That was his fifth match against top-20 opposition, and his fifth victory: a ideal record that no emerging male player in history has matched.
"Maybe he was a little bit worn out because he came through qualifying". "Obviously I think maybe I'll have to maybe adjust my return position".
Backed by his huge serve, the 33 year-old American fired his 21st ace to complete the victory after one hour and 53 minutes to book a spot in Sunday's final against Roger Federer. "I said before the tournament the chances were I would not defend my title".
"So I think I did well, and I'm very happy how I played".