Auger-Aliassime beats French veteran Simon, advances to Paris quarterfinals

PARIS — Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime advanced to the quarterfinals of the Paris Masters tennis tournament and increased his winning streak to 15 matches with a 6-1, 6-3 win over French wild-card Gilles Simon on Thursday.

Auger-Aliassime, seeking his fourth straight tournament win, took control of the match early. He had seven aces and broke Simon twice on five chances while not facing break point himself in a dominant first set.

After the eight-seeded Auger-Aliassime and Simon traded holds early in the second set, the 22-year-old Canadian won four straight games to clinch the match. He ended the one-hour, 33-minute showdown with his fourth break on seven chances.

The victory came a day after Simon helped Auger-Aliassime qualify for the season-ending ATP Finals for the first time.

Simon's upset win over Taylor Fritz in the tournament's second round meant the American could not catch Auger-Aliassime in the race for one of the two remaining spots in the elite tennis showcase.

Fritz's loss, coupled with Holger Rune's win over Hubert Hurkacz in the second round, clinched the final two spots in the Finals for Auger-Aliassime and Russia's Andrey Rublev.

The 37-year-old Simon, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 6 in 2009, has said he will retire after the Paris Masters.

Auger-Aliassime will next face 16th-seed American Frances Tiafoe in the Paris quarterfinals. The Canadian has won both previous meetings with Tiafoe, including a victory on clay earlier this year at the Barcelona Open.

Auger-Aliassime entered the tournament on the heels of three straight titles: ATP 250 tournament wins in Florence, Italy, and Antwerp, Belgium, and the ATP 500 win in Basel.

He is seeking his first Masters-level title in Paris.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2022.

The Canadian Press