Following a losing streak, Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime finally broke through in the first round of the Western & Southern Open on Monday in Cincinnati, beating Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Auger-Aliassime, who is seeded 12th this week, lost his first-round matches at Madrid, Rome, the French Open, Wimbledon and Toronto, earning just a single victory in that span, at Lyon, France.
On Monday, he fell behind Berrettini before rallying.
“It’s a big win,” Auger-Aliassime said. “It’s been a tough year, dealing with new things. Every win that I get, I’m happy, from now on. Of course the tournament has just started and I want to go further. I still have high ambitions. I never doubted myself.
“There’s comments right and left, but at the end of the day I know my tennis didn’t leave me. I know I can still play great tennis and I’ve proved it (Monday) again. So I’m going to try to keep going that way and it’s a positive start. Let’s try to keep this rolling.”
Auger-Aliassime finished with a 9-3 edge in aces and saved three of the four break points he faced. He moves on to a second-round matchup against France’s Adrian Mannarino.
In other Monday action, Australian qualifier Jordan Thompson squeezed past United States wild-card entrant John Isner 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2). Isner was a Cincinnati finalist in 2013, when he lost the title match to Spain’s Rafael Nadal.
The Thompson-Isner match featured no service breaks. Thompson had two break points, midway through the second set, but he couldn’t convert.
In the second-set tiebreaker, Isner won the first point before Thompson took the next six to pull away. He sealed the victory on his second match point.
Another qualifier advanced, as Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic got past Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo 6-3, 6-4.
Chile’s Nicolas Jarry came from behind to beat Russia’s Roman Safiullin 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, and Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori defeated French qualifier Corentin Moutet 6-4, 6-2.
Stan Wawrinka was on the verge of a victory over the United States’ Brandon Nakashima when their match was suspended due to rain with the Swiss veteran ahead 6-3, 6-7 (5), 5-2. Croatia’s Borna Coric, the 15th seed, led the United States’ Sebastian Korda 7-6 (5), 4-3 when play was halted.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev, the 16th seed, and Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov were due to play later Monday night, but their match was postponed along with two other scheduled matches — Great Britain’s Daniel Evans versus Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti and Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego versus Russia’s Alexander Shevchenko. Those three matches will be played Tuesday.
—Field Level Media
Original source here
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