Marseille | Auger Aliassime gaining in confidence

In a serving battle Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime proved the stronger against French wildcard Quentin Halys as he powered into the second round of the Open 13 Provence event.

The seventh-seeded Canadian was in confident mood after reaching the semi-finals in Montpellier last week, prevailing 6-2 7-5 at the indoor ATP 250 event in Marseille.

“It’s never easy,” Auger-Aliassime replied when asked about facing an opponent for the first time. “We’ve practised together before and he’s been on Tour for a few years, so of course I know him, and I know his qualities.

“I think I started the perfect way, hitting my targets and being aggressive, keeping him on defence and without much time. So it was the perfect start and then he was serving too good in the second set until I got lucky with a double fault. I was trying to put pressure on him whenever I had a second serve [to return]. I think I played a very complete match.”

The 23-year-old, who had some poor results last year with a series of first round losses, is now 8-3 in Marseille, where he reached the championship match in 2020 and 2022.

“I love playing well here. I have great memories,” said Auger-Aliassime, who plays China’s Zhang Zhizhen in the second round. “Twice a finalist, so obviously I’ve won some matches here but didn’t go all the way to the end. Let’s see if I can be part of another final here, but the week is so young and there is still a lot of tennis to play.”

Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori also downed a home favourite , beating Luca van Assche 7-6(2) 6-4 to advance to face fifth seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain for a place in the quarter finals.

The first quarter finalist in Marseille is the Czech Tomas Machac who followed up his win over Britain’s Andy Murray, by taking out the sixth seeded Lorenzo Musetti of Italy, 6-3 6-2.

Also through to the as eight are Ugo Humbert (4) of France and Russia’s Karen Khacahanov (3)



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