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Rogers Cup: Auger-Aliassime cannot safe birthday win versus Khachanov


Montreal’s Félix Auger-Aliassime misplaced in three units to sixth-seeded Karen Khachanov within the spherical of 16 of the Rogers Cup.

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This wasn’t the way in which Félix Auger-Aliassime hoped to mark his 19th birthday.

Sixth-seeded Karen Khachanov spoiled the celebration when he defeated Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (7), 7-5, 6-3 within the third spherical of the Rogers Cup Canadian Open males’s tennis championships.

The Montrealer was serenaded with a refrain of Bonne Fête after the match, whereas there have been birthday greetings from a number of of his fellow gamers on the video display at IGA Stadium. Regardless of the celebration, you bought the impression it was lower than a contented birthday for Auger-Aliassime.

Khachanov’s energy and expertise proved to be the distinction within the decisive third set. In a match marked by frequent service breaks, Khachanov broke Auger-Aliassime within the fourth recreation for a 3-1 lead and didn’t face a break level on his serve the remainder of the way in which.

Auger-Aliassime’s serve let him down all through the match. He had 11 aces, however he additionally double-faulted 12 occasions and was damaged seven occasions. Khachanov additionally had 11 aces, however he solely had three double faults and was damaged 5 occasions.

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“For positive the wind didn’t assist, particularly within the first set,” Auger-Aliassime mentioned. “Once I was up a break, I double-faulted twice (and I) felt prefer it was very powerful to serve, even on the primary serve. I feel that’s why we saved breaking one another. Look, if it’s powerful so that you can serve, it’s going to be powerful for him, as effectively.

“Because the match went on, I felt increasingly snug,” Auger-Aliassime added. “I feel in key moments I used to be capable of serve effectively and that gave me an opportunity to win. For positive I’m going through difficulties on my second serve. I’ve to face it. I imply, it’s such as you. You face difficulties in your work. I face difficulties in mine. What do you do? You return to work and also you attempt to do higher subsequent time. That’s what I’ll do for the long run.”

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Félix Auger-Aliassime’s serve let him down throughout his match against Karen Khachanov. He had 11 aces, but he also double-faulted 12 times and was broken seven times.
Félix Auger-Aliassime’s serve let him down all through his match towards Karen Khachanov. He had 11 aces, however he additionally double-faulted 12 occasions and was damaged seven occasions. Photograph by Eric Bolte /USA TODAY Sports activities

Khachanov mentioned the match was an instance of “profitable ugly.”

“I feel each of us had been returning higher than we had been serving and the wind was going round and that made it tougher.” Khachanov mentioned.

The hometown crowd was solidly behind Auger-Aliassime.

“The sound of the group, the individuals, the assist they gave me was loopy,” mentioned Auger-Aliassime. “From the primary observe I had right here, then all the way in which to this match at present was simply loopy. It truly is a dream come true. The ambiance within the tiebreak on the finish of the primary set was fairly surreal.”

It additionally posed some issues for Khachanov. After lacking an opportunity to win the tiebreaker, the Russian acquired a warning when he launched a ball over what was as soon as the left-field wall, which the group responded to with boos.

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“I can’t deny that I bought slightly bit loopy with the group,” Khachanov mentioned. “However I’m actually a bit dissatisfied with the group as effectively. I don’t have something towards (them) after they cheer for Félix. It’s regular. He’s the house favorite, particularly from Montreal. I want they might cheer the identical means in Russia for me.

“However nonetheless, you recognize, not after I miss or not wishing me to overlook, screaming in the course of the factors. I feel it’s disrespectful. I simply bought loopy. On the opposite aspect, I provoked the group, and that gave me additionally some type of vitality, as effectively. I don’t know. I used to be performing some bulls***, actually.”

Auger-Aliassime mentioned Khachanov apologized to him after the match.

“He simply mentioned that he bought mad, it was nothing towards me,” Auger-Aliassime mentioned. “He was simply pissed off on the crowd.”

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Subsequent up for Khachanov is a quarter-final match towards third-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany, who was additionally concerned in an extended three-set match. He defeated Thirteenth-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (5).

Thiem stays robust

Second-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria defeated 14th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-6 (7), 6-4.

Thiem, who was coming off a clay-court win in Kitzbuhel, misplaced within the first spherical in his 5 earlier appearances on the Rogers Cup and mentioned the distinction this 12 months was confidence as he moved to the sooner arduous courts.

“I had, like, 4 (observe) periods that had been fairly good,” Thiem mentioned. “An important factor for the profitable transition and for the profitable begin on this match was my confidence. The final three, 4 years I didn’t play worse than this 12 months, however I simply got here with low confidence and I got here slightly bit unhappy to Canada as a result of I didn’t play good in my own residence match the place I often, in fact, have lots of strain.

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“This 12 months every little thing is completely different,” added Thiem. “I gained the title at dwelling. I made one among my greatest goals come true.”

Thiem’s quarter-final opponent will probably be eighth-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia, who cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 win over unseeded Cristian Garin of Chile.

“He’s having an awesome season,” Thiem mentioned about Medvedev. “It’s his first time within the high 10. I feel he’s one of many guys with essentially the most wins, enjoying each week unbelievable, strong tennis. It’s going to be very, very powerful match.

“I performed him within the finals in Barcelona, which was in fact in my favour as a result of it’s clay and I feel it’s not his favorite floor,” Thiem added. “Then we had an awesome, shut match in St. Petersburg (Russia), which was a really excessive degree. I’ll attempt to see this one once more, look what I did nice there, attempt to play comparable tomorrow.”

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Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., had a three-set loss to Thiem within the second spherical of the Rogers Cup, however he’s nonetheless alive in doubles play. He teamed up with Rohan Bopanna, a 39-year-old doubles specialist from India, to succeed in the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kyle Edmund of Britain and American Taylor Fritz.

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