Felix Auger-Aliassime had an amazing start to the season. He reached the quarterfinals in Australia and came within inches of beating Daniil Medvedev to reach the semis. The Canadian then followed that up with a first career title in Rotterdam and looked headed for a real breakthrough season. His momentum was, however, halted in North America. He suffered back-to-back first-match losses in Indian Wells and Miami, followed up by more disappointing performances on clay so far. To add salt to the wound, his age peer Carlos Alcaraz has been stealing all the headlines with titles in Rio, Miami, and Barcelona, leading people to believe he might be a Slam winner and world #1 in the very near future.
Auger-Aliassime is in this tournament as the #1 seed and will have high hopes of getting his season back on track ahead of Madrid, Rome, and Roland Garros. His first match didn’t start well, but he looked good in the final two sets against Carlos Taberner. After the match, he reflected on his season so far. “I was one of the best players of the year for the first two months and then had a couple of bad months, some bad losses. It feels like the year has been so long!”
Felix Auger-Aliassime in Search of Estoril Open Title
In the quarterfinals Friday, the Canadian will face another 21-year-old in Sebastian Korda and he’ll start as a clear favorite, especially considering Korda isn’t very comfortable on clay. The second highest ranked player left in the tournament is recent Monte Carlo finalist Alejandro Dadidovich Fokina, so Auger-Aliassime has to look at this as a big opportunity to get his first ATP 250 title and his first clay court title.
The final stages of Estoril will feature some older players like Fernando Verdasco and Richard Gasquet trying to find their way back, but also young players looking to make a big breakthrough. Of the players left, Auger-Aliassime will be the one most hopeful to make a big run at Roland Garros, but for that he needs to start getting some momentum back and this week seems like the perfect opportunity for that.
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