On Thursday afternoon, Félix Auger-Aliassime became the first Quebecer in history to advance to the men’s quarterfinals of the National Bank Open presented by Rogers when he defeated Cameron Norrie (9) of Great Britain 6-3, 6-4.
It took the sixth seed 72 minutes to avenge his loss to Norrie in Mexico last week.
“He really isn’t the same player he was in Los Cabos,” said the 26-year-old Briton. “I saw him play the day before, and I really think his game is much better.”
Félix hit 15 aces and committed only one double fault as he flew through the match. “It’s really one of my best matches of the year,” he said. “A very satisfying performance I’m very proud of. But it’s not over yet. We’re going to keep going. I think the court is bringing me luck.”
In the first set, Auger-Aliassime, who turned 22 this week, settled for a break against the left-hander at 3-4, and that was enough secure the 32-minute set.
In the second, FAA got a break in the ninth game and then sealed the deal when he served for the match.
It was the sixth battle between them and Auger-Aliassime’s fifth victory. His only setback was in the semis in Mexico last week.
On Friday afternoon, he’ll face Casper Ruud of Norway. They are 1-1: Félix lost on clay but won on the hard court.
Hurkacz, just barely
On Rogers Court, Hubert Hurkacz (8) of Poland had a tough time dismantling Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain. The 25-year-old defeated his 34-year-old rival 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(3).
Hurkacz now has two wins in as many matches over his Spanish adversary and his first on a hard court.