Auger-Aliassime First ATP Main Tour Win at 17 Years Old - UBITENNIS
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Auger-Aliassime First ATP Main Tour Win at 17 Years Old

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Indian Wells, California

Look out tennis world there is another young Canadian on the rise and he quickly got peoples attention at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells on Friday night.

At just 17-years and 7 months of age, Felix Auger-Aliassime won his first career main draw ATP match with a 6-2, 7-6 victory over countryman Vasek Pospisil in front of a packed crowd inside Stadium 2 in the desert.

Auger-Aliassime, from Montreal Quebec, is following in the footsteps of good friend Denis Shapovalov who also saw his break out begin at a Masters 1000 event in Montreal last year. “FAA” became the youngest player to win a tour level match since his pal “Shapo” did it at 17 years and 3 months of age when he defeated Nick Kyrgios in Toronto in 2016. He is also the first player born in the year 2000 to win an ATP match.

Playing in front of the biggest crowd of his career, the World No. 169 got off to a great start rallying to win four straight points to break Pospisil in the opening game of the match. Then on his first service game, the youngster fired a 127 mph ace to go up 2-0.

Three games later, after a Pospisil backhand sailed long, Auger-Aliassime broke again to take a 4-1 lead. In the next game his fastest serve of the match, a 133 mph bullet followed by another 127 mph bomb gave him a 5-1 lead. With 12 winners and just seven mistakes, Auger-Aliassime locked up the opening set.

In the second, the players held serve throughout. Auger-Aliassime managed to stave off a set point in the twelfth game with one of his 11 aces in the match.

In the tiebreak Pospisil got out to a 3-1 lead after a pair of loose forehand mistakes from the player ten years his junior. But the 2015 Doubles Champion at Indian Wells, will look back on the point with the score tied at 3. After a pair of well placed forehands which Auger-Aliassime scrambled to return, Pospisil sailed an easy forehand long. You could sense the momentum shift and Auger-Aliassime took advantage winning four of the final five points in the tiebreak to seal the deal.

The crowd filled with Canadians, jumped to their seats saluting the youngsters monumental victory.

“Firsts are always good,” said Auger-Aliassime. “You know, get your first win, you break the ice. And then after, it’s like the next time I’m on the stadium, it’s something I have seen before.”

A year ago at this time, Auger-Aliassime was ranked No 511 in the world and playing in a Challenger event in his home province of Quebec. He won the event collecting $3,600. His win today means he is ranking will go up and he will go home with at least $25,000.

“It’s crazy…never would have thought I’d be here talking to you guys 2nd round of the Masters. This transition went pretty fast for me, so it’s quite unbelievable to be here so early. As a kid, those are the moments you dream of and those are the stages you want to play on.”

After a rare all Canadian matchup on Friday, Auger-Aliassime will play another Canadian Milos Raonic in the next round. Raonic has been battling injury problems and he has won just one of the four matches he has played in 2018.

“It’s exciting to see someone I have looked up to growing up. You know, I’ll try do everything I can to return the serve and hang in there. It’s quite exciting (smiling).”

Not to discredit the victory by Auger-Aliassime, but Friday night’s match was Pospisil’s seventh in the last 11 days. He played four matches in the Oracle Challenger Series last week along with two qualifying matches this week to get into the main draw. Auger-Aliassime lost in the opening round of the same Challenger event.
There are four Canadians left in the singles draw at Indian Wells. Along with Auger-Aliassime and Raonic, Denis Shapovalov plays his second round match against 30th seed Pablo Cuevas while Peter Polansky faces No. 20 Adrian Mannarino both on Saturday.

@Sportshorn

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Monte Carlo Breakthrough Leaves Andrey Rublev With Mixed Emotions

The world No.8 takes confidence from his latest run but admits it is ‘impossible’ to play at his very top level every week on the Tour.

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After achieving a career milestone at the Monte Carlo Masters, Andrey Rublev was sent crashing down to earth on Sunday.

 

The Russian tennis star broke new territory at the tournament by reaching his first ever Masters 1000 final at the age of 23. However, he was denied the title by Stefanos Tsitsipas who produced a clinical performance to seal victory in just 71 minutes. Ending Rublev’s run of winning seven finals in a row.

“I feel happy with the week, and I feel super sad with the final, that I couldn’t show my game,” he told reporters on Sunday.
“Of course, I’m happy with the week because I beat so many great players and I beat one of the best players in history. It’s a special week.”

Earlier in the tournament Rublev stunned the draw when he upset Rafael Nadal in three sets en route to the semi-finals. Making it the fourth time in his career he has scored a win over a player ranked No.3 in the world. He is also the first player in history to come back from a set down to defeat Nadal at the tournament.

Besides the king of clay, Rublev also dismissed Roberto Bautista Agut and Casper Ruud. He has now won 24 matches on the ATP Tour this season which is more than anybody else. However, he is reluctant to link all of his match play with his latest performance.

“I feel tired after all the matches that I play, exhausted. But this is not excuse. He was just better than me, and that’s it,” he stated.
“Not always everything goes your way. It happened today. I was completely exhausted. Stefanos, he showed great game. He was just better than me, and that’s it.”

Despite his recent success, Rublev is eager to not get too far ahead of himself heading into the French Open. A Grand Slam where he has only played in the main draw twice before, including last year where he reached the quarter-finals.

“I would like to play really good in Madrid and I would like to play really good in Rome. I would like to play all of the weeks good. But it’s impossible,” he explains.
“Some of the weeks for sure will be better, some will be worse and some will be amazing.’
“For the moment I’m playing really consistent. I’m really happy I’m playing my best season so far. We’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Rublev is set to return to action next week at the Barcelona Open where he will be the third seed.

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Former Australian Open Semi-Finalist Kyle Edmund Undergoes Surgery

It has been reported that the world No.69 may not be able to return to the Tour for ‘several more months.’

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British world No.69 Kyle Edmund is set to be sidelined from the Tour for some time after having surgery to treat a long-standing problem in Switzerland. 

 

The former British No.1 has confirmed he had a ‘small procedure’ on his knee after being hampered with issues in the area ever since 2018 when a scan revealed that he had fluid behind his left knee. Details of the surgery have not been disclosed by the person who conducted the operation was Dr Roland Biedert, according to BBC Sport. A specialist Orthopaedic surgeon who has also operated on Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro.

“I had a small procedure on my knee. I’m currently rehabbing. The recovery is going well and I hope to be back on court as soon as possible.” Edmund said.

Currently ranked 69th in the world, Edmund hasn’t played a competitive match since losing in the first round of qualifying at the Vienna Open last October due to his knee. 2020 saw mixed fortunes for the 26-year-old. After winning the New York Open during February of that year, he lost seven out of 10 matches played during the rest of the season. Including five defeats in a row.

No return date has been outlined by Edmund or his team following the surgery. However, British media have reported that he may be out for ‘several more months.’ Casting doubts over his chances of being ready in time for Wimbledon which starts on June 28th. He hasn’t been absent from a Wimbledon main draw since 2012.

Edmund has been ranked as high as 14th in the world with his best Grand Slam run being to the semi-finals of the 2018 Australian Open. Overall, he has won two ATP titles and has earned more than $5.7 in prize money. 

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Grigor Dimitrov Blames Poor Monte Carlo Performance On ‘Big Infection’

The 29-year-old reveals the reason behind his error-stricken performance at the Monte Carlo Country Club on Thursday.

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Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov said he simply ‘didn’t play’ in his latest match at the Monte Carlo Masters after winning just two games against Rafael Nadal.

 

The world No.17 fell 6-1, 6-1, to the 20-time Grand Slam champion in less than an hour on Thursday. He won 48% of his first service points and 32% of his second, as he hit 32 unforced errors. A dismal performance from Dimitrov who had beaten Jan-Lennard Struff and Jeremy Chardy earlier in the tournament.

Whilst it was never going to be easy playing somebody of Nadal’s calibre, Dimitrov has revealed that he had been troubled by an issue away from the court. He has been suffering from a ‘big infection’ in his tooth which has had an impact on his preparation for the match.

“I’ve been struggling with a massive tooth problem for the past four or five days,” he said. “I have a big infection in my tooth. It’s been hard. I haven’t been able to sleep well or eat well or anything like that.’
“I was bearing it for a while this whole week.”

It is another case of bad luck for Dimitrov on the Tour this season. At the Australian Open he reached the quarter-finals in what was his best Grand Slam performance since the 2019 US Open. However, in his last eight showdown with Russia’s Aslan Karatsev he was hindered by a back injury.

“It’s straight to the doctor’s, unfortunately,” he commented on his tooth. “Very, very unpleasant moment. It is what it is.’
“At least I’m glad it happened on a home soil so I can go see my dentist and figure this problem as soon as possible.Hopefully it’s not too serious and I’ll be able to come back as soon as possible.”

Speaking in his press conference, Nadal said he ‘felt sorry’ for his opponent who ‘played a bad match.’ During the match the world No.3 wasn’t aware of Dimitrov’s problem but was told about it afterwards.

“I wish him all the best. He’s a great guy, a good friend. I just hope the situation is to improve as soon as possible,” he said.

Nadal, who is seeking a record 12th title in Monte Carlo, will play Russia’s Andrey Rublev next.

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