Auger-Aliassime survives by recovering from 0-2, Van De Zandschulp reaches Fognini. Out Davidovich Fokina

[9] F. Auger-Aliassime d. [Q] JP Varillas 2-6 2-6 6-1 6-3 6-3

It seemed like a foregone game and, instead, the debut of Felix Auger-Aliassime at Roland Garros. The opponent of him is Juan Pablo Varillas, qualified number 122 in the world, who did not make him understand anything (or almost) for the first two sets, in which the Canadian has collected just four games. The tension of the first absolute participation in a main draw of a slam, however, presented the account to the Peruvian, who from the third set onwards gradually died down until he capitulated in the fifth. Despite the defeat, this will still be a day to remember for him (as it was also his first game against a top 10).

THE MATCH Auger-Aliassime he is immediately surprised in the first game of the match, giving up the serve to 30 and then seeing his opponent run away on 2-0. It’s a traumatic start for the Canadian, who every possible choice and execution is wrong with both fundamentals. Both the forehand and the reverse, in fact, do not work as the seeded number 9 would like, which after about 20 minutes he finds himself incredibly late by two breaks. Ahead 40-0 in the fifth game, in fact, Auger-Aliassime loses another five consecutive points and ends up under 5-1. However, we must not take away obvious merits from Varillas, which dominates most of the exchanges and not he is practically never wrong. The Peruvian even has a chance to close the first set 6-1 with a triple break, but the world number nine cancels it with a good first. Not bad, however, because two great second in the last two points of the set give Varillas a first partial never in question: 6-2. It is evident, as we said, how much i too many unforced errors by Auger-Aliassime (13, only three instead for the Peruvian) have addressed the set, in which the Canadian has just collected two points out of ten with the second.

With two aces in the opening of the second set (as many as those scored in the entire first set), the 21-year-old from Montreal goes on to lead for the first time in the match, but a very concentrated Varillas remains attacked in the score. The Peruvian plays on a cloudgets three more consecutive break points and, at the first opportunity, has to do with a new extension. Auger-Aliassime buries a comfortable smash on the net and sends his opponent forward, very solid and dominant from the baseline: 3-1. The kind concessions of the seeded number nine do not show signs of stopping and give Varillas three more consecutive break points, all however foiled thanks to the help of the serve. Somehow, Toni Nadal’s pupil manages to stay afloat, but in the response rounds he continues to struggle enormously, failing to find solutions to stop his opponent’s momentum. Indeed, in the seventh game the number 122 ATP has two new break possibilities which, this time, also exploits thanks to a great point in defense. Auger-Aliassime continues to find no alternatives and to concede too much, undergoing a new one 6-2 also in the second set. If the four unforced by Varillas are not surprising (given the progress of the match), his people certainly make more noise 11 winners, since in the first part there were only four. He is also very successful in serving (85% of points won with the first and 71% with the second), counting that in his service shifts he just left on the street four points.

The third set seems to bring with it aair of changewith Auger-Aliassime who (once in a while) doesn’t struggle to keep his first two batting games and, in the fourth game, gets the first break points of his game. Two unusual mistakes Peruvian brand allow the Canadian to stretch and land at 4-1. Forfeited some confidence, the world’s number nine finally manages to take over the reins of the exchange, making better use of the trajectories in service and taking advantage of some more physiological errors of Varillas. Also in the next game, the 26-year-old from Lima misses a little too much and is again forced to give up his serve, then being overwhelmed. 6-1 from the Canadian, who halves the disadvantage in the sets. Decisive is the increase in points won with the first (14/16) and the eight unforced from Varillasmore than recorded by adding the first and second sets.

The fourth set also opens as the third ended, that is with a cold break by Auger-Aliassime, the third in a row. It seems the number 122 in the world having lost all his certainties and collects just one of the first nine points of the set, with the Canadian who goes straight to 2-0. That break gained at the beginning will be decisive in the economy of the set, always keeping the distance between the two players. Although he is always forced to chase, the Peruvian continues to charge, trying to get back to the levels of his first sets. Not that there is far away, but unfortunately for him the Auger-Aliassime seen in the first hour and a half is gone. The Canadian concedes just two batting points in the entire fraction, both in the eighth game where, on 30 all, he leads a delicate point to perfection, closed with a nice stop volley. In the next game, Varillas still gives something and the seeded number nine sniffs, in addition to the possibility of closing, also that of serve first in the fifth. With no authority for much of the game, the Canadian closes 6-3 the fourth set, complete the comeback e sends everything back to the decisive set. Too much difference between the winners (13-2) and, above all, the points obtained with the first serve: 100% for the pupil of Toni Nadal, just 41% for the Peruvian.

From the beginning of the final showdown, a little is perceived understandable tension on both sideseven if for a good part of the set balance will reign. Auger-Aliassime, like more or less from two sets now, continues to suffer very little in service, leaving very few points on the road. Varillas chases and, despite being in more trouble than his opponent, remains attached to a single train (at least until today) in his career. Reached the Canadian at 3-3, the number 122 of the ranking he believes in it, he encourages and calls the public together, but from that moment on he won’t win a game again. Auger-Aliassime easily holds the serve at 15 in the seventh game and, in the following one, he wins three consecutive break points thanks to a great attack and two winners. Varillas tries to stay alive with three big forehands – two of them winning – with which he gets to parity. The Peruvian also has an opportunity to impact 4-4, but he spoils it and, on the fourth chance of the game, the seeded number nine hits the final draw. Symbolic, in this sense, is the fact that the break comes with a straight winning inside out, a blow that had given him very little satisfaction at the beginning of the match. With two first winners Auger-Aliassime builds three consecutive match points and, on the second, closes with a winning forehand, finding his first career victory at Roland Garros. The overall data of the match are the essence of what, in the end, were two different matches: the first two sets, totally Peruvian, and the last three strongly Canadian. The number nine ATP closes with more winners (52-23) and more free (44-29), as well as 14 aces and 83% of the points won with the former. On the other hand, the performance of the second is bad (40%), but this will be an aspect to work on in the coming days. Now, waiting for him in the second round, there will be one between the Argentine qualifier Ugo Carabelli and the Russian Karatsev.

OTHER MEETINGS – After Dimitrov’s victory and Thiem’s ​​premature departure in the morning, the program continued without huge surprises. Good affirmation of Borna Coric on Carlos Taberner, defeated 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-1, as well as of Diego Schwartzman, always winner in four sets over Andrey Kuznetsov (6-3 1-6 6-4 6-2). They lose a set but also advance Van De Zandschulp (6-3 3-6 6-3 6-2 to Pavel Kotov), ​​Fabio Fognini’s next opponent, e John Isner (7-6 4-6 7-6 7-6 to Quentin Halys). Instead, the finalist of the last tournament in Monte Carlo falls Alejandro Davidovich Fokinadefeated 2-6 6-0 6-4 6-3 by Tallon Griekspoor.

The men’s draw of Roland Garros 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.