Canada's Best: Felix Sets Raonic Meeting In Montreal
The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime, who has a birthday on Thursday, fought off nerves and fed off his home crowd to advance 6-2, 6-7(3), 7-6(3) against the 29-year-old Pospisil, who's still on the comeback from January back surgery.
Neither player faced a break point in the decider, but Auger-Aliassime gained momentum after overcoming a 0/30 deficit at 4-4 in the final set. He ran away in the tie-break, improving to 2-1 in Canada when Pospisil lifted a forehand long.
“Losing those two next points, probably the match would have been over. What else can you do than just give it all? I tried to find a good first serve, play to win. That's what I was able to do,” Auger-Aliassime said.
“When your back is against the wall, you usually show up with something good. I think in any case in life, that's what you do. If you look at a lot of players, especially great players, whenever they need to, they usually play good points, serve well. I think I found that extra energy in me to serve well those four points and get that game.”
“Even if I look at myself physically back then, I changed a lot. Mentally, as well. For sure I have the confidence that I can win against these types of players. I'm not as nervous stepping on these big courts. That's also a big change,” Auger-Aliassime said.
“I think the overall trust in my game is much more different than before. I think overall everything in my game has improved, from the groundstrokes, my return, my serve.”
Argentine Guido Pella scored a 6-4, 7-6(4) upset against 15th seed David Goffin. The left-handed Pella won the third-most matches on clay this year, but is increasingly showing he can excel on any surface. The 29-year-old reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals last month. He will next meet Moldovan Radu Albot, who beat Gilles Simon of France 6-4, 6-2.
Eleventh seed Borna Coric picked up his first win in almost two months, saving two consecutive match points to beat Citi Open semi-finalist Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(2). Coric was down 15/40, 5-6 while serving in the third set but won the next four points to force a tie-break.
The No. 1 Croatian last won at the Noventi Open in Halle in mid-June. Coric retired from his quarter-final there and missed Wimbledon because of an abdominal injury. He will next face Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-0, including earlier this year at the grass-court Libema Open in 's-Hertogenbosch.