Felix Auger-Aliassime survives Arthur Cazaux scare to reach Montpellier QFs | ATP Tour

Felix Auger-Aliassime survives Arthur Cazaux scare to reach Montpellier QFs | ATP Tour


Felix survives Cazaux scare to reach Montpellier QFs

Coric beats Martinez to also advance

February 01, 2024

Felix Auger-Aliassime twice rallied from a break down in the third set to deny young Frenchman Arthur Cazaux.
By ATP Staff

Third seed Felix Auger-Aliassime survived a rollercoaster third set to deny fast-rising Frenchman Arthur Cazaux to reach the quarter-finals of the Open Sud de France in Montpellier Thursday.

The Canadian dropped serve at the beginning of the set behind three double faults and later was forced to recover from a break down a second time before triumphing 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(4).

“It was a crazy match,” Felix said. “Arthur came up with the goods and he served and played amazing when he needed to. I was playing great tennis and then he raised his level. He played an unbelievable game to break me in the second.

“I had to stay calm and just find a way to stay in the match and give myself a chance. You have to stay focused, composed and not let the emotions get the best of you. I think I did that well today.”

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Cazaux, 21, served 12 aces and continued to impress fans with his aggressive, powerful game that took him to the Noumea Challenger title in the first week of the season and to the fourth round of the Australian Open, where he claimed his first Top-10 win over World No. 8 Holger Rune.

Last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals alternate saved a match point on serve with a confident net approach and accomplished high backhand volley to force the tie-break, but paid the price for early unforced forehand errors in the decider.

Former World No. 6 Auger-Aliassime, who has slipped to 30 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, continues to rebuild after minor knee surgery at the end of last year. He reached the third round of the Australian Open and has now advanced to his first quarter-final since his title run in Basel last year.

On Friday he will meet fellow 21-year-old Frenchman, Harold Mayot.

Croatia’s Borna Coric fired eight aces and saved all four break points faced in a convincing 6-4, 6-0 win over Spain’s Pedro Martinez.

“He was playing very well and I couldn’t find my rhythm, but my good serving kept me in the first set and I got a little lucky to be honest,” said Coric, who is making his fourth appearance in Montpellier. “After that I started to feel better and play better.”

After a first-round loss to Frances Tiafoe at the Australian Open, Coric opted to play the Ottignies-Louvain-La-Neuve Challenger last week in Belgium, where he reached the final (l. to Riedi).

“I played a lot of matches last week and I came in a little tired, so I wanted to win as soon as possible and do my recovery.”

Kazakhstan’s Alexander Shevchenko claimed just one break of serve – coming crucially in the sixth game of the third set, according to Infosys ATP Stats – to defeat Frenchman Gregoire Barrere 7-6(3) 2-6, 6-3.