ATP Finals: Taylor Fritz qualifies for the semifinals after defeating Félix Auger-Aliassime (7: 6, 6: 7, 6: 2).

The surprise guest in the big leagues. Taylor Fritz, who qualified for the Masters in extremis, won his ticket to the last four there by defeating Félix Auger-Aliassime (7-6, 6-7, 6-2) after a long game of padlocks in Turin . With attrition, the American put an end to the glorious decline of the Quebecers, relying in particular on an unruly service. He will have the great honor of challenging Novak Djokovic, guaranteed to finish first in the red group, in the semi-finals of his first Masters tournament.

A showdown between two big servers. We would hardly enlarge the line by summarizing this confrontation, which has long resembled a game of chess. See for yourself: it took 2h30 of play before a first player, in this case Auger-Aliassime, gave up his service. In fact, neither protagonist had managed even the slightest break in the first two sets. The chances on the defensive were slim: after a first set without even a hint of a draw, “F2A” had three chances in the second set – in the same game. Tiebreak management was in fact a key element in winning the longest game of the tournament (2h44).

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Taylor Fritz, more consistent overall, measured first (8 points to 6 won). The calmer American believed his slight superiority would be enough to win in straight sets, especially as he was close to completing the second crucial game. However, the 9th player in the world committed an unfortunate and gross double fault as he led 4-2. It was enough to reinvigorate an Auger alias on AC, but smart enough to pocket the bet in set number two (7 points to 5 by the end of the tiebreak).

But the Quebecer, even after an idyllic month of October, didn’t know how to ride this crucial game. Nervous, he could only play his tennis sparingly, stringing together unforced errors and approaches. Opposite a Fritz with no qualms and unwavering in his service – 8 shutouts and 88% points gained after his first ball! – used those errors to break twice and seal his presence in the last four. Quite an achievement for a player drafted at the last minute following Carlos Alcaraz’s injury. Unexpectedly and therefore without pressure, Fritz thoroughly grabbed his card and will continue the adventure against Djokovic, in the semifinals. He’s the first American to make it this far at the Masters since Jack Sock in 2017.

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