Sports: Auger-Aliassime confident about rematch with Cameron Norrie

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Félix Auger-Aliassime, the last Canadian standing at the National Bank Open, said he’ll go into his third-round match against Cameron Norrie Thursday with a positive mindset.

Félix Auger-Aliassime celebrates his win over Yoshihito Nishioka during second round play at IGA Stadium. © Provided by The Gazette Félix Auger-Aliassime celebrates his win over Yoshihito Nishioka during second round play at IGA Stadium.

“We have history. I mean, but we put that behind us,” said Auger-Aliassime, who lost to Norrie in the semifinals last week jn Los Cabos. “I did lose last week, but there were some good things that worked for me and I’m going to try to repeat the things that worked well last week and the outcome can be on my side.”

Félix Auger-Aliassime embraces high expectations for National Bank Open

  Félix Auger-Aliassime embraces high expectations for National Bank Open There are high expectations for Félix Auger-Aliassime at this year’s National Bank Open, but he embraces the role of hometown favourite. “This is the position I want to be in,” said the Montrealer, who took time out on his 22nd birthday to speak with the media Sunday. “You get to the place I am today gradually. You have to put in the work. I’ve been in this position where there were expectations, going back to when I was 14, 15 and through junior, so this is nothing new to me.” Because of the pandemic, Auger-Aliassime is making his first appearance in Montreal in three years. He returns at No. 9 in the ATP Tour rankings, and he will be the sixth seed in the Masters 1000 event.

On a day when four of the top five seeds lost, the sixth-seeded Auger-Aliassime conquered his nerves and a tough opponent Wednesday, posting a 7-6(6), 6-4 win over Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan.

Auger-Aliassime had to battle to capture the first set. The Montrealer staved off four break points before Nishioka, who was coming off a final appearance against Nick Kyrgios in Washington last week, broke for a 3-2 lead. But Auger-Aliassime broke back in the next game and both players held serve to force a tiebreaker.

Auger-Aliassime appeared to be in control as he delivered two aces en route to a commanding 6-3 lead. But he allowed the Japanese player back into the set when he played a series of sloppy points. including a drop shot that failed to reach the net, and found the tiebreaker deadlocked at 6-6.

Top three seeds - Medvedev, Alcaraz and Tsitsipas - all lose, Auger-Aliassime wins

  Top three seeds - Medvedev, Alcaraz and Tsitsipas - all lose, Auger-Aliassime wins MONTREAL — The National Bank Open's defending champion is out. The second and third seeds were eliminated too and the so-called Big Three didn't make the trip. The draw was left wide open on Wednesday at IGA Stadium before some players had even played their opening matches. Carlos Alcaraz was the first to go, falling in the early session to American Tommy Paul. World No. 1 and top seed Daniil Medvedev was next as he was dispatched by Australia'sThe draw was left wide open on Wednesday at IGA Stadium before some players had even played their opening matches.

But Auger-Aliassime wrapped up the set with a backhand winner and a forehand passing shot.

“For sure it’s a big relief whenever you win a first set in tennis,” he said. “It’s super important, especially in these conditions. I think it was a one hour and 15-minute first set. You for sure want that set to go on your side.”

Auger-Aliassime dominated the second set. He broke Nishioka in the fifth game and had break points in two other games. He failed to capitalize on two match points at 5-3, but served out the match.


Video: Serena Williams advances to the 2nd round of the National Bank Open (cbc.ca)

Norrie had an easy passage into the round of 16, beating Botic Van De Zandschulp of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-2. He’ll face Auger-Aliassime at 4 p.m. Thursday. In the final match of the night, British qualifier Jack Draper stunned third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 7-5, 7-6(4).

Canada's Auger-Aliassime wins third-round match at National Bank Open

  Canada's Auger-Aliassime wins third-round match at National Bank Open MONTREAL — A powerful service game gave Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime a distinct advantage in his third-round match at the National Bank Open on Thursday afternoon. Cameron Norrie had no answer for it and then watched his own service game fall apart. The sixth-seeded Auger-Aliassime fired 15 aces in a 6-3, 6-4 victory over the ninth-seeded Brit to earn a quarterfinal berth at his hometown tournament. "That was a very convincing win,"Cameron Norrie had no answer for it and then watched his own service game fall apart.

Daniel Evans of Britain upset fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia 6-4, 6-4 while top-seeded Daniil Medvedev and No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz were upset Wednesday afternoon. Fourth-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway is the highest-ranked survivor and Auger-Aliassime could face him in the quarterfinals.

Taylor Fritz, the 10th seed, had a roller-coaster ride before beating fellow American Frances Tiafoe. Fritz, who has been bothered by a stress fracture in his foot, lost the first set and was down 0-4 in the third before he reeled off six consecutive games to win 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.

In a tweet after the match, Fritz said his foot problems appear to be behind him, but he asked for a medical timeout because “I constantly felt like I was going to pass out, my vision was going fuzzy and the only thing that can really prepare me for playing in conditions like these … is playing in conditions like these.

“Sorry if I worried anyone,” he added.

Fritz is a native Californian, but he has a Canadian connection. His uncle, Harry Fritz, played Davis Cup for Canada and was the top-ranked player in Canada. In 1982, in the era before tiebreakers, he defeated Jorge Andrew of Venezuela 16-14, 11-9, 9-11, 4-6, 11-9 for a total of 100 games. That’s the record for the most number of games played in a Davis Cup match.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas became the third Spaniard to reach the third round when he defeated 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-4, 6-2.

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Auger-Aliassime moves on to quarters with comeback win over Sinner, Shapovalov ousted .
CINCINNATI — Felix Auger-Aliassime earned a berth into the quarterfinals Thursday with a 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-1 comeback win over Jannik Sinner at the Western & Southern Open Masters-level tennis tournament. Seventh-seeded Auger-Aliassime fired 14 aces to Sinner's four, as he shifted the momentum with a strong effort in the tiebreaker to win the second set. Auger-Aliassime, of Montreal, went down 3-0 early in the first set before winning his first game. He broke the 10th-seeded Italian on three out of eight opportunities. The 22-year-old Canadian will next play on Friday against Borna Coric, who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-3.

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