Preview: Felix & Tsitsipas Set Up #NextGenATP Showcase At Queen's Club
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime face off for just the second time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry on Friday in the Fever-Tree Championships quarter-finals, but it’s safe to say it won’t be their last meeting.
Both men have soared up the ATP Rankings over the past 12 months. Tsitsipas has won three ATP Tour titles (Stockholm, Marseille and Estoril) in that time en route to his current career-high standing to No. 6. Auger-Aliassime was ranked well outside of the Top 150 last June, but is now at a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 21.
Auger-Aliassime won his lone FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting with Tsitsipas this March at the BNP Paribas Open, but they’re familiar with each other’s games from their junior days. The Canadian also beat Tsitsipas in the semi-finals of the 2016 US Open, which marked the final junior event of both their careers.
“For some reason my game style fits well with his,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I just feel like he doesn't have a lot of openings when I play him. I guess that's maybe what he feels as well.”
Both men won two matches on Thursday to set up their quarter-final showdown. Auger-Aliassime defeated Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios, while Tsitsipas took out Kyle Edmund and Jeremy Chardy. Tsitsipas required a great escape against Chardy as the Frenchman served for the match at 5-4 in the second set.
Tsitsipas is competing as the top seed at an ATP 500 event for the first time in his career. His adventurous all-court game and willingness to finish points at the net suits him well on the grass. He made his Grand Slam breakthrough last year at Wimbledon by reaching the fourth round and also advanced to the quarter-finals at the Libema Open. If the Greek is the last man standing on Sunday, he’ll have ATP Tour titles on all three surfaces.
Auger-Aliassime is competing in his first professional grass-court season, but is already playing like a veteran on the surface. He’s 6-1 on grass this year after finishing runner-up last week in Stuttgart (l. to Berrettini). The Canadian’s serve is especially potent on this surface. He hasn’t dropped serve this week and has fired 95 aces in his past five matches.