Felix Auger-Aliassime boosted his chances of qualifying for Friday’s Nitto ATP Finals in Florence, where he edged #NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima 6-3, 6-4.
In a dominating display, the Canadian fired 23 winners and claimed 90% (35/39) of his first-serve points to set up a semi-final encounter with #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti at the UniCredit Firenze Open.
“I’m very happy with my level,” Auger-Aliassime said during his on-field interview. “It was two good sets of tennis. I think I served well. I could have been better on the second serve, he won a lot of points. I had to stay very focused until the end because you never know, games can change quickly.
With his 89-minute win, Auger-Aliassime moved up one place to seventh in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, overtaking American Taylor Fritz, who lifted the trophy in Tokyo last week.
“There is still a lot of work to do to qualify for Turin,” Auger-Aliassime said. “The race is still very tight, very tight. I will do my best to go all the way this week. But tomorrow already it will be another tough opponent. It will not be easy to win a game. But with the way I play now, I have a better chance of qualifying [for the Nitto ATP Finals].”
The 22-year-old is aiming to make his debut at the prestigious year-end event, which will be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from November 13-20. Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic have all already qualified.
The top seed has now reached five round-level semi-finals this season following her 42nd round-level win of the year. Auger-Aliassime, who beat Oscar Otte in his opening match at the ATP 250 event in Italy, won his first tour-level trophy in Rotterdam in February.
Nakashima leaves Florence in sixth place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Milan. The 21-year-old is looking to qualify for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals for the second consecutive season after reaching the semi-finals last year.