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Barty endures delays, ousts Kontaveit to reach Miami final

31 March, 2019, 00:56 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Felix Auger Aliassime at Miami Open 2019

Defending champion John Isner ended Canadian teen Felix Auger-Aliassime's dream run on Friday (March 29) and advanced to the ATP Miami Open final with a 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4) triumph.

Shapovalov was better on first serve, winning 76 per cent of his points, as compared to 63 per cent for the 21-year-old Tiafoe. I felt like I had margin over him, had a bit of an edge.

At half past three, the Canadian spent some time with the press conference and around 4 PM, in less than an hour after losing his prestigious match, the 18-year-old, Felix Auger-Aliassime was witnessed practicing his serves on the court number 17 of the Miami Gardens. "It'll be a joy to watch because not only are they great, great players but they're good people, too".

'My dad is a tennis coach and he would bring me to all of his lessons, ' said the polite and softly spoken Canadian. He and Boric exchanged baseline rallies throughout the opening set and Felix was often seen taking charge.

For an National Football League stadium, it will be a different kind of Sunday showdown: Roger Federer against John Isner. "It's just that point in the ATP, you know, you still have kind of the legends, you know, Rog, Rafa, still there on top, but you have a lot of newcomers with talent kind of gunning for them".

"I think I'm seeing the long term", he said. Entry deadlines for tournaments are weeks before events begin - and Auger-Aliassime's ranking wasn't good enough at the Miami cutoff to get him direct entry.

A final ace extended Isner's unblemished tie-breaker record for the event and ended Auger-Aliassime's career record against top-20 opponents, which was 5-0 entering the match.

"I think all the Canadian players from the young kids to Denis and Bianca and I, there's a lot of belief right now".

Away from the ever-brightening spotlight, Auger-Aliassime always had confidence in himself.

Miami Open 2019
Miami Open 2019

They struck during his US Open debut in September (he has never even played at senior Wimbledon) and the match had to be stopped.

Despite the disappointment etched all over Auger-Aliassime's face at the end, his run here will give him great confidence moving forward as he, and Shapovalov, aim to prove their Grand Slam credentials.

The World No. 57 broke early in the second set, but nerves could have set in again when Basilashvili broke back for 3-3.

As for Auger-Aliassime, it's fair to say he is a surprise semifinalist.

His opponent Sunday will be the victor of the second semifinal between three-time champion Roger Federer and another Canadian teenager, 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov.

He faced his first real test in the quarterfinal when he went up against the giant killer Robert Bautista Agut.

Federer said he's enjoying seeing the younger players start to make their mark.

The women's final Saturday will match No. 5 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic against No. 12 Ashleigh Barty of Australia. "But I think it's all positives". Even the first serve, I mean, if you put it in, you don't have to hit the second serve.


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