ATP Finals: Taylor Fritz qualifies for the semi-finals after his victory over Félix Auger-Aliassime (7-6, 6-7, 6-2)

The surprise guest in the big leagues. Qualified in extremis for the Masters, Taylor Fritz won his ticket for the last four there by beating Félix Auger-Aliassime (7-6, 6-7, 6-2), after a long padlocked match in Turin. With wear, the American put an end to the radiant fall of the Quebecer, relying in particular on an intractable service. He will have the formidable honor of challenging Novak Djokovic, guaranteed to finish first in the red group, in the semi-finals of his first Masters tournament.

A showdown between two big servers. We would hardly magnify the line by summarizing this confrontation, which has long been akin to a game of chess. Judge for yourself: it took 2h30 of play to see a first player, Auger-Aliassime in this case, give up his service. Neither of the two protagonists had indeed managed the slightest break in the first two sets. In their defense, the opportunities were meager: after a first set without a shadow of a tie, “F2A” had three opportunities – in the same game – in the second. The management of tie-breaks was, in fact, a key element in winning the longest match of the tournament (2h44).

Too imprecise, “F2A” only delayed the deadline

Taylor Fritz, overall more consistent, took the measure of the first (won 8 points to 6). Calmer, the American believed that his slight ascendancy would be enough to win in two sets, especially since he was close to concluding the second deciding game. But the 9th player in the world committed an unfortunate and gross double fault, when he was leading 4-2. It was enough to reinvigorate an Auger-Aliassime on alternating current, but clever enough to pocket the bet in the second set (7 points to 5 at the end of the tie-break).

But the Quebecer, even after an idyllic month of October, did not know how to ride this decisive game. Nervous, he could not play his tennis other than sparingly, chaining unforced errors and approximations. Opposite, a Fritz without qualms and imperturbable on his service – 8 shutouts and 88% of points won after his first ball! – fed on these errors to break twice and seal his presence in the last four. Quite a feat, for a player drafted at the last minute after the injury of Carlos Alcaraz. Unexpected and therefore without pressure, Fritz seized his card thoroughly and will continue the adventure against Djokovic, in the semi-finals. He is the first American to go this far at the Masters since Jack Sock in 2017.

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