PARIS — Felix Auger-Aliassime's brilliant late-season surge continued Friday with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Frances Tiafoe in the quarterfinals of the Paris Masters.
The 22-year-old from Montreal clinched his 16th straight victory on his sixth match point, hammering a forehand past the American. Auger-Aliassime entered Paris on the heels of three straight tournament wins.
The Canadian has earned a spot in the ATP Finals starting Nov. 13 in Turin, Italy. It's the first time Auger-Aliassime has qualified for the elite season-ending tournament.
"I feel better and better," Auger-Aliassime said in a post-match interview with the ATP. “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.”
Down 3-5 in the second set, Tiafoe saved five match points to hold serve. Auger-Aliassime then fell behind love-15 and 15-30 before reeling off three straight points for the victory.
Auger-Aliassime improved his record against Tiafoe to 3-0.
“Of course, I had match points at 5-3 ... (He) tried everything and tried many different ways to stay in the match," Auger-Aliassime said. "He did for one more game, but I’m happy that I was able to be clutch in those moments.
"Serving for the match (I) stayed cool and played great points when I needed to."
The eighth seed will next face Denmark's Holger Rune in a rematch of last week's final at the Swiss Indoors tournament. Auger-Aliassime won the match 6-3, 7-5.
Rune advanced past Spain's Carlos Alcaraz when the world No. 1 retired with an injury. Rune was leading 6-3, 6-6 at the time.
Auger-Aliassime has won four titles on the ATP Tour, all coming this year. He is seeking his first Masters-level victory in Paris.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2022.
The Canadian Press