ROTTERDAM | In a duel that promises to be very interesting, Félix Auger-Aliassime and Daniil Medvedev will fight for a place in the semifinals of the ABN Amro Open on Friday.
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As the third and sixth favorites, Auger-Aliassime and the Russian unsurprisingly reached the quarter-finals on Thursday. Their confrontation begins around 8:30 a.m. (Quebec time).
“It will be very interesting and a great opportunity to get my first career win after three defeats,” said Auger-Aliassime, who thinks the Russian is a better player than his 11th place in the table would suggest. I was close to winning a couple of times but I need to change things including going to the net a little more and changing the pace of my shots to see how he reacts. »
However, Frédéric Fontang’s protégé is convinced that one thing will not change.
“It is obvious that I cannot escape a physical and mental struggle,” he warned. He’s not a player who gives points easily and it’s obvious that it takes physical and mental effort to win. »
Auger-Aliassime and Medvedev crossed blades twice at the Grand Slam. Two sets ago in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open 2022, the Quebecer finally said goodbye. He also lost to the Russian in straight sets in the semifinals of the 2021 US Open.
After a few Grand Slam defeats he has fallen behind in the standings but Medvedev is confident he can compete with the best players in the world.
“My recent record against top 10 players isn’t good, but I’ve won 12 straight games against top 10 players,” said the 2021 Flushing Meadows winner.
“Beating Felix won’t change much in the rankings, but it gives me a confidence boost to follow who rose to number one in the ATP rankings in February 2022. I’ll have to do my best and serve well to win. I beat him in training this week but it doesn’t mean anything. »
Medvedev is also expecting a hard-fought match.
“Felix is still young, he needs to improve certain aspects and he is doing that,” added Medvedev. As is so often the case on hard ground, a few points are played. »
Auger-Aliassime is aware that he will have to adjust his serve in his next match.
“My percentage was lower than usual [50 %], today and I have to see how I can correct the situation for the next games because I will need my first ball. Still, it’s good to win when your greatest strength is less. »
In his 6-3, 6-4 win over France’s Grégoire Barrère, the world No. 8 broke for the first time in the tournament when he could have finished the first set
“I had a very bad game 5: 3,” summed up the Quebecer. I made a double fault on the way out and two unforced faults. It all happened very quickly, but I was able to recover immediately. It’s one of my strengths to close when I’m serving for the set or the match, but that happens to everyone. »
“I didn’t play at my highest level or play the most brilliant match to continue Auger-Aliassime but mentally it’s very good to have found solutions and stayed calm in heated moments in the second set. »
Auger-Aliassime erased a break point in game five before taking the Frenchman out of qualifying in game eight, en route to his 11th win in 12 games in the last two years at Rotterdam.
For his part, Medvedev sent off the Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp in two identical sets 6:2 in the preliminary round.