May 30, 2023

Felix Auger-Aliassime added another dominant victory to his remarkable winning streak on the indoor hard courts of Europe on Friday at the Rolex Paris Masters, where he raced to a 6-1, 6-4 quarter-final win against Frances Tiafoe.

The eighth seed was clinical behind serve and sharp on return to down Tiafoe and seal his 16th consecutive tour-level triumph. He struck 26 winners to Tiafoe’s 14 and won 86 per cent (31/36) of points behind his first delivery to clinch a Tour-leading 27th indoor win in 2022.

“Of course a few times the luck was on my side, but I feel like also I played a great match,” said Auger-Aliassime. “We’ve played a few times. In New York [in 2021] it was tight sets, we played in Barcelona this year also, two not easy sets. To come out and play the way I did in the first set, 6-1, it was great.

“Of course, I had match points at 5-3… [He] tried everything and tried many different ways to stay in the match. He did for one more game, but I’m happy that I was able to be clutch in those moments. Serving for the match and [I] stayed cool and played great points when I needed to.”

Auger-Aliassime cruised to the first set as Tiafoe, playing in just his second Masters 1000 quarter-final, struggled to find his best level. The Canadian found rhythm behind his heavy forehand and dropped just two points behind serve in the opening set, and he made it nine of the first 11 games won with an early break in the second.

Although Tiafoe dug deep to save five match points and hold serve in a topsy-turvy ninth game of the second set, Auger-Aliassime sealed a 93-minute win in the next game with more precise serving. The Canadian’s triumph improved his ATP Head2Head record against the World No. 21 to 3-0.

As he has been throughout his spectacular run, Auger-Aliassime’s serving was a key factor behind his win against Tiafoe. According to Tennis Data Innovation’s INSIGHTS, Auger-Aliassime registered 8.8 out of 10 in the Serve Quality category, which measures the ball characteristics and impact on the opponent of a player’s delivery.

<a href=Felix Auger-Aliassime Vs. Frances Tiafoe: INSIGHTS Serve Quality” />

Felix Auger-Aliassime Vs. Frances Tiafoe: INSIGHTS Serve Quality

“I feel better and better,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I heard Novak [Djokovic] saying yesterday that you can always improve and he’s won how many Grand Slams, so I can definitely improve a lot more in future. Of course right now I’m playing well and feeling good, but I see things that I can still do better and still improve on to be able to top the game.”

Having lifted titles in Florence, Antwerp and Basel during his unbeaten run, Auger-Aliassime will next take on World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz or Holger Rune at the at the ATP Masters 1000 event in France as he chases his fourth ATP Tour crown in as many weeks.

Longest Winning Streaks In 2022

It will be the second Masters 1000 semi-final of Auger-Aliassime’s career, following his run to the last four in Miami in 2019. The 22-year-old’s late-season exploits have already earned him a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held in Turin from 13-20 November, for the first time.

“It’s crazy, because I remember like yesterday making my first semi-final in Miami,” said Auger-Aliassime. “It was so unexpected, and I thought at the time it was fine, making a semi-final in a Masters, [and that I] would do it many times in the future.

“Then it took three years for me to get back there and it just proves how tough it is at this level to reach the semi-finals or better at these events. So I’m really happy that I was able to do it.”

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