Even whereas having fun with probably the most promising type of his younger profession, Félix Auger-Aliassime knew a top-class efficiency can be required to beat No. 2 seed and defending champion Andrey Rublev of Russia within the semi-finals of the ATP 500 ABN AMRO World Tennis Event in Rotterdam. And the Canadian produced simply that as he claimed an exhilarating 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2 victory to arrange a mouth-watering conflict with No. 1 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece on Sunday.
No. 3 seed Auger-Aliassime beforehand reached the ultimate of this match in 2020, when he was overwhelmed by France’s Gael Monfils. Within the lead as much as this match towards Rublev, the 21-year-old Montrealer had dropped only a single set on his method to beating Belarus’ Egor Gerasimov and British duo Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie.
Rublev, in the meantime, had loved straight-sets victories over Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland, South Korea’s kwon Soo-woo and Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics. Their head-to-head report was firmly within the Russian’s favour with Rublev having overwhelmed Auger-Aliassime of their two earlier conferences (Umag, 2018 and Adelaide, 2020).
With an ATP Cup title and Australian Open quarter-finals berth already beneath his belt, Auger-Aliassime has been displaying a steely dedication and can to win thus far in 2022. That momentum carried into this match because the Canadian went blow for blow along with his opponent with simply two rankings’ locations between the 21-year-old Quebecer (No. 9) and the 24-year-old from Moscow (No. 7).
There was nothing to separate the 2 gamers within the first set, which seemed destined to be heading for a tiebreak. That was till, with a 6-5 lead, Auger-Aliassime went 0:40 up on Rublev’s serve. The Russian did effectively to disclaim him on all three break level alternatives, and for a fourth time when Auger-Aliassime had the benefit at deuce, earlier than seeing out the sport to drive a tiebreaker.
Rublev instantly carved out a bonus by going a minibreak forward, which he went on to consolidate to 3-0. Auger-Aliassime bought himself again on degree phrases because the duo continued to placed on a breathless spectacle. It was Rublev, nonetheless, who got here out on prime as his sturdy forehand on set level may solely be returned into the online by the Canadian.
Onto the second set, which remained on serve till the ninth sport when Auger-Aliassime battled onerous to earn a break level alternative. As he had completed all match when backed right into a nook, Rublev produced a strong first serve, however Auger-Aliassime returned it effectively and the Russian hit his ensuing shot vast left. The Canadian wasn’t about to cross up the possibility to attract degree and served out the ultimate sport with out a hitch to drive a 3rd and deciding set.
The match was turning into a real basic and it appeared becoming that it will take one final squeeze of effort from each gamers to crown a winner. Auger-Aliassime, brimming with confidence after clinching the earlier set in model, made a rip-roaring begin to the third, holding his serve to like earlier than breaking Rublev to take a decisive lead. Frustration quickly took maintain of the Russian, who made one other unforced error on the essential second handy Auger-Aliassime a second break.
The chance introduced to him was one Auger-Aliassime took to its fullest, seeing out the third set 6-2. The Canadian will now face top-seeded Tsitsipas within the remaining. The Greek was examined briefly by his semi-final opponent Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic however battled again from a set right down to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.