Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime advances to third round at Italian Open

Felix Auger-Aliassime, of Canada, competes during the Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, May 5, 2024. (Manu Fernandez/AP)

Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime continued his successful run on clay with a 6-1, 7-6 (8) win over Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp in second-round action Saturday at the Italian Open.

Auger-Aliassime had four breaks in the match that went just under two hours five minutes, including a crucial break to cut van de Zandschulp’s lead in the second set to 5-4.

Down 6-5 later in the set, Auger-Aliassime fought off set point to hold and force a tiebreaker. The 23-year-old Canadian won the back-and-forth tiebreaker after taking a point on return to go up 7-6, then converting match point on serve to improve his career record against van de Zandschulp to 3-1.

Auger-Aliassime had a much easier time in the first set, reeling of five straight wins after the players opened with a hold each.

Auger-Aliassime, ranked No. 20 in the world, is looking for another deep run at an ATP 1000 clay court event after advancing to his first ever Master final last week in Madrid.

He will next face ninth-seeded Australian Alex de Minaur. Auger-Aliassime is 2-0 at the senior level against de Minaur, including a victory in the final tie as Canada beat Australia to claim the 2022 Davis Cup. 

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