Felix Earns Win On Tokyo Debut, Zverev Falls

  • Posted: Oct 16, 2023

Felix Earns Win On Tokyo Debut, Zverev Falls

Canadian next plays Ofner

Felix Auger-Aliassime earned a confidence-boosting win on debut at the Kinoshita Group Japan Open Tennis Championships on Monday when he downed Australian Aleksandar Vukic 7-6(3), 6-7(2), 6-2.

The Canadian entered the matching having earned just two wins in his past 11 outings, but he stepped up when needed in the deciding set against Vukic to advance to the second round in Shanghai.

“It is a big relief,” Auger-Aliassime said. “There have been tough times lately where I was wondering what to do. I have to keep on training and believing and hope my level will come back. I am happy to get the victory today. It is a positive.”

The World No. 17 won 80 per cent (8/10) of points on Vuckic’s second serve in the third set and converted all three of his break-point opportunities in the decider to set a second-round meeting against Sebastian Ofner after the Austrian defeated Christopher O’Connell 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 7-5.

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In other action, Jordan Thompson dealt a blow to Alexander Zverev’s Nitto ATP Finals hopes. The Australian overcame the German 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the second round at the ATP 500 hard-court event.

“He is a quality player,” Thompson said. “You can see what he has done in his career and I have not done nearly as much as him. But when I get on a court with those guys I believe I can win. If you don’t believe you can win you may as well not be there. I enjoyed the challenge.”

World No. 60 Thompson has now earned two Top 10 wins this year, also defeating then-World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in Indian Wells. He will next meet Ben Shelton or Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel.

Zverev is seventh in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, 450 points ahead of ninth-placed Taylor Fritz. The Top 8 players qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held in Turin from 12-19 November. Zverev, who has won two titles this season, has triumphed at the prestigious year-end event twice.

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