Auger-Aliassime qualifies for ATP Finals with 3-set win at Paris Masters

Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime kept his winning streak alive with a razor-thin 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (6) win over Sweden's Mikael Ymer in second-round action Wednesday at the Paris Masters tennis tournament.

Montreal native claims 14th straight victory at Masters-level event

Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada continued his march toward the season-ending ATP Finals with his 14th straight win following a 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (6) victory over Sweden's Mikael Ymer in second-round action Wednesday at the Paris Masters tennis tournament. (Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images)

Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime advanced to the season-ending ATP Finals for the first time in his career with a razor-thin 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (6) win over Sweden's Mikael Ymer in second-round action Wednesday at the Paris Masters tennis tournament.

Auger-Aliassime won on his second match-point opportunity to end a marathon match that took three and a half hours to complete. With the eight-seeded Canadian serving for the match, Ymer hit a forehand long as Auger-Aliassime closed in on an ATP Finals berth with his 14th straight win.

The Canadian punched his ticket when two of the four players chasing the final two spots lost their second-round matches. Hubert Hurkacz fell 7-5, 6-1 to Holger Rune and Taylor Fritz was defeated 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, meaning they could no longer catch Auger-Aliassime and Andrey Rublev in points.

The ATP Finals start Nov. 13 in Turin, Italy.

Later Wednesday, Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., lost 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-4 to Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, the tournament's 14th seed.

WATCH | Auger-Aliassime rallies to win in Paris:

Auger-Aliassime rallies in Paris to extend his winning streak to 14 matches

2 years ago
Duration 2:53
Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime kept his winning streak alive with a razor-thin 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (6) win over Sweden's Mikael Ymer in the second round of the Paris Masters.

Auger-Aliassime moved on in Paris after a tough test. He had a chance to put the match away earlier in the third-set tiebreak. Ymer, serving down 6-5, stayed alive when he tucked a shot over Auger-Aliassime's racket to end a lengthy rally.

Auger-Aliassime set up his second match point when Ymer hit a shot into the net on the following point.

Ymer, who advanced to the main draw through qualifying, did not make it easy for the in-form Auger-Aliassime.

WATCH | Auger-Aliassime collects 4th career title with win in Vienna:

Auger-Aliassime stays scorching hot with Swiss Indoors title win

2 years ago
Duration 2:56
Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime collected his third-straight ATP title after defeating Holger Rune in straight sets on Sunday in Basel.

The Montreal native, who entered Paris after holding serve throughout his tournament win last week at the Swiss Indoors in Basel, faced 17 break points on Wednesday and saved 14 of them.

Ymer looked likely to win when he scored a huge break in Game 3 of the second set and held the next game, putting him up 4-1 in the second set after winning the first.

But Auger-Aliassime was opportunistic, with two of his four breaks in the match coming in the second set to allow him to battle back and force a decisive set.

Auger was up a break twice in the final set, but Ymer fought back both times to force a tiebreaker.

Auger-Aliassime had 11 aces to Ymer's two and 45 winners to his opponent's 34.

The Canadian will next face Gilles Simon of France.

WATCH | Canada's Denis Shapovalov ousted at Paris Masters:

Carreno Busta eliminates Shapovalov at Paris Masters

2 years ago
Duration 3:37
Canada's Denis Shapovalov was eliminated at the Paris Masters event losing to Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6(2), 2-6, 6-4.

Auger-Aliassime entered the tournament on the heels of three straight titles: ATP 250 tournament wins in Florence, Italy, and Antwerp, Belgium, and the ATP 500 win in Basel.

He is seeking his first Masters-level title in Paris.

Shapovalov, ranked 16th in the world, was coming off a run to the final of last week's Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

He fired 12 aces, won 86 per cent of first-serve points and was broken just twice. One of those, however, was a key break by Carreno Busta in the first game of the third set, which proved costly as both players held serve the rest of the way.

de Minaur, Alcaraz, Tsitsipas advance to 3rd round

Before the Paris Masters, Carlos Alcaraz, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had already qualified for the eight-man tournament in Turin from Nov. 13-20.

Alcaraz, Tsitsipas, Alex de Minaur and Lorenzo Musetti also advanced to the third round in Paris, while Nadal's 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1 loss to Tommy Paul raised questions about his fitness in his first singles match since the U.S. Open.

The second-seeded Nadal made 19 unforced errors to 18 for Paul and dropped serve three times in the final set, almost looking resigned.

"At the end, I need days on the tour," Nadal said. "It's true that for the last five months I didn't spend enough days on the tour. I don't even say competing on a tennis court. I say on the tour. Practicing with the guys. That's what I need."

Paul next plays Pablo Carreno Busta, who edged Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-4.

De Minaur upset fourth-seeded Medvedev 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 to next face Frances Tiafoe, who beat Jack Draper 6-3, 7-5.

De Minaur beat Medvedev for the first time in five meetings.

After rallying from a 2-0 deficit in the final set, De Minaur failed to convert his first two match points at 5-4. He hit a return out on the first match point and made an unforced error on the second.

But the Australian got two more chances at 6-5. Medvedev saved the third match point with a service winner before double-faulting on the fourth and angrily throwing his racket to the ground.

"I'm glad I played a very tactical match," De Minaur told Tennis Channel. "I just tried to wait for my right ball and just back myself and back my volley."

Medvedev, who won the Paris Masters in 2020 and was runner-up last year, dropped serve in the first set by overhitting a smash in the final game. But the Russian capitalized on unforced errors by De Minaur to break twice in the second set.

The top-seeded Alcaraz downed Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4, 6-4 to rack up more points in his chase for the year-end No. 1 ranking.

Alcaraz hit 30 winners to seven for the Japanese player and will next play Grigor Dimitrov who dispatched lucky loser Fabio Fognini 6-0, 7-5.

Fifth-seeded Tsitsipas beat Daniel Evans 6-3, 6-4 to lead the ATP tour with 58 wins this year.

Tsitsipas raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set. He then hit a forehand winner across court to break Evans in the opening game of the second, before converting his first match point with an ace.

"I'm happy with the level of tennis I brought when I had to," Tsitsipas said. "I was moving well, I was dictating well. I combined everything, including my defense."

Tsitsipas will take on Corentin Moutet, who beat Cameron Norrie 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (3).

With files from The Associated Press

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