Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime heading to semifinals at Open 13 tourney

Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada reacts after winning a point. (Tertius Pickard/AP)

MARSEILLE, France — Felix Auger-Aliassime is the last Canadian standing at the Open 13 Provence tennis tournament after preventing the country from going winless in three quarterfinal matches Friday.

The No. 7 seed from Montreal beat qualifier Egor Gerasimov of Belarus 7-5, 6-2 in the final quarterfinal.

Earlier, No. 4 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., and unseeded Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver were eliminated at the ATP 250 indoor hardcourt tournament.

Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik defeated Shapovalov 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 before No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece defeated Pospisil 7-5, 6-3.

It marked the first time since 1990 three Canadians reached the quarterfinals at the same ATP event.

The 19-year-old Auger-Aliassime is on a roll on the European indoor hardcourts, reaching the semifinals this week after a runner-up finish last week in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

After saving a combined five match points in his first two matches in Marseille, the 18th-ranked Auger-Aliassime won in straight sets for the first time at the tournament against the 72nd-ranked Gerasimov.

Gerasimov converted on his lone break-point opportunity, while Auger-Aliassime was 4-for-11 in the same category. The Canadian won 83 per cent of points when he got his first serve in.

Auger-Aliassime will face world No. 58 Gilles Simon in the semifinals after the Frenchman upset top seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia 6-4, 6-0. The Canadian won his only previous meeting against Simon, prevailing 7-5, 6-4 on grass outdoors in Stuttgart, Germany last year.

Shapovalov failed to take advantage of opportunities to control his quarterfinal, converting just two of 10 break-point opportunities. Bublik was slightly better with three of nine break points converted, handing Shapovalov his fifth loss in the past six matches.

Bublik had 14 aces to Shapovalov’s seven in a match that took two hours 17 minutes to complete.

Shapovalov had a bye in the first round and defeated Marin Cilic in the second round to reach the quarterfinals.

Ranked No. 15 in the world, Shapovalov entered the Open 13 having lost his first match in three straight tournaments. He hadn’t reached a quarterfinal since the ASB Classic in New Zealand in mid-January.

The 98th-ranked Pospisil, meanwhile, didn’t have one break-point opportunity against world No. 6 Tsitsipas. The 21-year-old Tsitsipas won 26 of 30 points when he got his first serve in.

"It wasn’t easy, I knew I’d have to fight and be dynamic," said Tsitsipas. "He plays a very aggressive brand of tennis, so every point has to be treated respectfully. I played with passion and patience, and my fighting spirit, when I’m in the right zone, means good things can happen."

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