STUTTGART, June 14, 2019
Two Canadians advanced to the semi-finals of the MercedesCup. In his first ever grass-court tournament on the ATP Tour, Felix Auger-Aliassime fought past German qualifier Dustin Brown, who appeared in his first quarterfinal at tour-level since 2017 in Montpellier, winning 7-6(3), 6-7(2), 7-6(2) on Friday afternoon.
The 18-year-old from Montreal fired 30 aces and saved one match point in the 10th game of the third set to prevail after two hours and 28 minutes.
Felix finds a way!
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 14. Juni 2019
“Playing these kind of matches is exciting,” Auger-Aliassime commented afterwards. He will next take on compatriot Milos Raonic, who defeated Marton Fucscovics of Hungary. The No. 6 seed capitalized on both of his break point chances to advance in one hour and 13 minutes.
“I was lucky to gain the first break, which gave me freedom to find my game,” Raonic said.
Asked about Raonic, Auger-Aliassime said: “I can only say good things about him. He has been great to me since I arrived on the tour and he always supports younger player in Canada. He is a great person to have around, a great guy.”
When Raonic and Auger-Aliassime met in their first match on the tour in March last year, it was the teenager’s first appearance at ATP Masters 1000 level. Raonic won in straight sets at Indian Wells.
Struff to face Berrettini
Earlier in the day, Jan-Lennard Struff continued his good run of form. The 29-year-old knocked off 2017 champion Lucas Pouille of France, winning 6-4,6-4. Struff won 55 per cent of the total points played to book his first semi-final spot in Stuttgart. The encounter lasted 69 minutes. Up next for the local favourite will Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, who beat US-American Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 12 minutes.
“He is a very good player and also a good guy,” Struff said about his upcoming opponent. “I have already practiced with him a few times. He has a good serve, a strong forehand and uses his slice well. He beat here Kyrgios, Khachanov and Kudla, who was in the semi-finals in Halle last year. I will give everything and try to reach the final.”