ThrowbackTimes Queen’s: Felix Auger-Aliassime edges Nick Kyrgios after epic battle

Competing in only his second ATP tournament on grass, an 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime made a name for himself at Queen’s in 2019. The 8th seed and the youngest player in the draw worked and beat a former champion Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios in a single day en route to the quarter-final. The Canadian toppled the Bulgarian 6-4, 6-4 in under 80 minutes, saving energy for a thrilling contest against Nick Kyrgios. The youngest won it 6-7, 7-6, 7-5 in two hours and 13 minutes for a place in the quarters. Felix claimed three points more than Nick, and they were neck and neck from start to finish, with the only break coming in the last game of the encounter that propelled the Canadian through. Nothing could separate them in the shortest rallies up to four strokes and the more advanced ones, with the rivals hitting a similar number of aces and under 30 unforced errors.

Auger-Aliassime had more winners, while Kyrgios forced more mistakes from a teenager, looking good to set the deciding tie break when he lost interest in that final game of the clash. Felix held at love with four quick points in the opening game, with great serving on both sides to level the score at 3-3 after 14 minutes. The returners couldn’t do much in the rest of the set either and they were in the tie break after 32 minutes.

Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Nick Kyrgios at Queen’s 2019.

Kyrgios grabbed a mini-break with a volley winner at 4-4, closing the set with two winners on his serve. From 30-0 down in the second set’s second game, Felix won four straight points to remain unbroken, surviving deuce in the sixth game and creating a break chance a few minutes later that he wasted when his slice landed long.

Auger-Aliassime leveled the score at 4-4 with a forehand winner, and servers dropped only two points in the final four games to set another tie break. With no room for errors, the Canadian landed a return winner to move 4-1 in front and closed the set with an ace down the T line at 6-3 to gather a boost ahead of the decider. Kyrgios received a medical timeout on his left groin after the final set’s third game, stayed in touch with the rival and held after deuce to lock the result at 5-5. Staying focused, Auger-Aliassime moved 6-5 up after a service winner in the 11th game and erased Nick’s game point in the next one. The youngster created a match point and converted it after a return winner to find himself in the quarters.

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