Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime continued his impressive season-ending run of form with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 first-round victory over Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff on Tuesday at the Paris Masters tennis tournament.
Auger-Aliassime, ranked 19th on the ATP Tour, had 17 aces and saved all three break points he faced as he improved his 2023 record to 23-18.
The first set went to a tiebreak after both players held serve throughout. Auger-Aliassime roared out to a 6-0 lead in the extra session and won it on his fourth set point.
Auger-Aliassime picked up the only break of the match to go up 2-1 in the second set, then capped the triumph in just under one hour 39 minutes by winning a 19-shot rally on his second match-point chance.
It was the first meeting between Auger-Aliassime and Struff, No. 27 in the world, since they split a pair of matches in 2020.
Auger-Aliassime, coming off a successful defense of his Swiss Indoors title last week, picked up another convincing win over a quality adversary.
He defeated No. 6 Holger Rune in the semifinals and No. 11 Hubert Hurkacz in the final last week in Basel without dropping a set.
Auger-Aliassime next faces a familiar foe in the seventh-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who had a first-round bye.
Tsitsipas holds a 5-3 career record in matches versus Auger-Aliassime, but the Canadian won their last meeting in the final of last year’s Rotterdam Open.
In other first-round matches, lucky loser Dusan Lajovic beat wild-card entry Benjamin Bonzi 7-5, 6-3 while Tomas Martin Etcheverry outlasted Miomir Kecmanovic 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 to set up a meeting with top-seeded Djokovic.