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Felix Auger-Aliassime will face John Isner for the first time in the Miami semi-finals.

Felix Becomes Youngest Miami Semi-finalist In 35 Years

18-year-old improves to 5-0 against Top 20 competition

He's only 18, but he's already rewriting the history books at the Miami Open presented by Itau. #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime became the youngest Miami semi-finalist in the tournament's 35-year history on Wednesday.

The qualifier, who played an ATP Challenger Tour event two months ago, beat 11th seed Borna Coric of Croatia 7-6(3), 6-2 to set up a final-four matchup against defending champion John Isner. The American beat Novak Djokovic's conqueror Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 7-6(1), 7-6(5).

Auger-Aliassime's success, including his straight-sets win against the 22-year-old Coric, has surprised the teenager from Montreal.

“Playing Borna, who's been established for a few years now, I definitely didn't expect to win. I expected more, a set like in the first. But the second really surprised me. I felt like I had margin over him, had a bit of an edge. I just felt really comfortable out there from the first balls,” he said.

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The Canadian has played five matches against players inside the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings, and he's won all five, a streak No. 9 Isner will try to break when they meet for the first time.

Auger-Aliassime was already the youngest quarter-finalist in Miami history since Andy Roddick, 18, in 2001, and the first player born in the 2000s to make an ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final. But now he stands alone in Miami.

He is, however, far from the only #NextGenATP player making noise in South Florida. Compatriot Denis Shapovalov, 19, and American Frances Tiafoe, 21, will compete for another semi-final spot on Thursday afternoon.

“Everyone is super excited back home. It's great to hear all these good comments from them. It puts a lot of belief in tennis in Canada,” Auger-Aliassime said.

Teenagers To Reach QF Or Better In Miami Open History (since 1985)

Year

Player

Age

Round

(Opponent)

2019

Felix Auger-Aliassime

18

QF

(vs. Coric)

2019

Denis Shapovalov

19

QF

(vs. Tiafoe)

2017

Alexander Zverev

19

QF

(l. to Kyrgios)

2007

Andy Murray

19

SF

(l. to Djokovic)

2007

Novak Djokovic

19

Champion

(d. Canas)

2005

Rafael Nadal

18

Finalist

(l. to Federer)

2001

Andy Roddick

18

QF

(l. to Hewitt)

2001

Roger Federer

19

QF

(l. to Rafter)

2000

Lleyton Hewitt

19

SF

(l. to Sampras)

1990

Pete Sampras

18

QF

(W/O to Berger)

1990

Jim Courier

19

QF

(l. to Agassi)

1990

Andre Agassi

19

Champion

(d. Edberg)

1985

Stefan Edberg

18

QF

(l. to S. Davis)

The last time two teenagers reached the quarter-finals or better in Miami was in 2007 with Novak Djokovic (won) and Andy Murray (QF), both 19.

“It's a privilege to be compared to all these great players. I think it just shows that I'm doing good things, I'm on the right track,” Auger-Aliassime said. “But I think I'm seeing the long term, and right now I'm just enjoying every day, enjoying every match, because you never know what's going to happen next.”

Coric was playing in his sixth ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final, and Auger-Aliassime, his first, but the Canadian was more poised and in control. The two exchanged baseline rallies throughout the opener, with Auger-Aliassime often taking charge.

But Coric, who made the Rolex Shanghai Masters final last October (l. to Djokovic) stayed with Auger-Aliassime, until the tie-break, when he came undone. Coric double faulted for the first time in the match and badly missed a backhand on set point.

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The second set mirrored the tie-break, as Coric, who hit 38 unforced errors to 16 winners, was broken to start the set when he dumped a backhand into the net. Auger-Aliassime broke once more to roll into the final four.

Did You Know?
Auger-Aliassime is projected to crack the Top 35 of the ATP Rankings on Monday when the new rankings are released.