Still at the height of his title last week in Florence, Félix Auger-Aliassime went less than two wins from a repeat in Stockholm on Friday. But the second-seeded Canadian had to dig deep to hold off Daniel Evans 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 in a two-hour, 40-minute game that ended after midnight at the European Open.
“It was a very high quality game from both of us and I couldn’t regret too much, or anything really, in the first set. He just played a little too well,” the Canadian said after the match. . “Then I started to serve better, I was able to hold my serve a bit easier, which of course helped.
“From the tie-break and the third set it was a great finish from me. I’m really glad I made the effort to dig deep and push hard until the end.”
The victory further secured Auger-Aliassime’s seventh place finish in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race in Turin, as the Canadian strives to clinch what could be the last qualifying spot for this year’s Nitto ATP Finals. With 3,065 points, he now holds a 180-point lead over Tokyo champion Taylor Fritz in eighth place.
After the aggressive Evans won the first set earning his only break point early on, the Briton repelled three break chances midway through the second to set up the crucial tie-break. The final stages of the set were dominated by the server, and that continued in the tie-break, in which Auger-Aliassime won all five points on his delivery.
Evans continued to attack and netted two points on the return while leading 1-0, but he would never create a second break point. Instead, Auger-Aliassime eventually converted on his sixth break chance and again on his seventh to put the game beyond doubt.
Chasing the third tour-level title this season and his career, Auger-Aliassime will be looking to extend his six-game winning streak when he meets Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals. The Frenchman won 6-2, 7-6 (6) against David Goffin earlier on Friday evening as he qualified for his second ATP Tour semi-final of 2022 (Geneva) and his first on hard courts from Sofia in 2020.