Tsitsipas Beats Felix In Barcelona, Now Eight Matches Unbeaten
The second-seeded Greek, who captured his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (d. Rublev) last week, produced another impressive performance to beat No. 10 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-3 in 83 minutes.
“I think my hard efforts paid off,” said Tsitsipas, who has now won 14 sets in a row. “I wouldn’t say it was the best start, but I managed to win my serve from 0/40 down [in the second game]. That got me into the match and that helped me to break him at the end. I didn’t panic, but I knew what I was doing. It feels good to be able to play the way I am. I really hope the winning streak continues.”
Tsitsipas, who captured the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals title and went on to clinch the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals crown, will now face the youngest Barcelona semi-finalist in 16 years, Jannik Sinner of Italy. The No. 11 seed, who beat Andrey Rublev earlier on Friday, captured the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals trophy in Milan. Tsitsipas and Sinner at tied at 1-1 in their ATP Head2Head series, with both matches coming on clay at the 2019 and 2020 Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.
Tsitsipas lost just seven of his first service points against Auger-Aliassime (29/37), striking 11 winners and committing just nine unforced errors. The 22-year-old is now 25-5 on the season.
Auger-Aliassime appeared to be the stronger in the first four games, but could not convert three break points in Tsitsipas’ first service game. Tsitsipas slowly worked his way into the match and once Auger-Aliassime struck a forehand into the net to be broken in the fifth game, the Greek grew in confidence. Tsitsipas closed the 46-minute opener after Auger-Aliassime his a forehand long.
Another groundstroke error cost Auger-Aliassime in the fourth game of the second set and Tsitsipas stayed in control to complete his 25th match win of the season (25-5).
Auger-Aliassime, who is 2-15 against Top-10 opponents, drops to a 12-7 record on the year, which includes a runner-up finish at the Murray River Open in Melbourne (l. to Evans).