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  • November 27, 2020

Canadian Auger-Aliassime advances to Cologne Championship quarter-finals

Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime rallied for a 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) triumph over qualifier Egor Gerasimov of Belarus in the second round of the Cologne Championship on Wednesday.

The fifth-seeded Auger-Aliassime, who received a first-round bye, broke Gerasimov when the world No. 87 was serving for the match up 6-5 in the second set at the ATP Tour 250 hard-court event.

Auger-Aliassime, ranked 22nd in the world, is coming off a run to the final last week at the Cologne Indoors. The Montreal native struggled on second serve Wednesday, winning only 51 per cent of those points, but he saved six-of-10 break points.

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“Tonight showed how cruel tennis can be sometimes,” Auger-Aliassime said in his on-court interview. “He had his chances serving for the match in the second set. I felt like he was playing a great level of tennis. And then I tried to stick in there, stay calm and try different things, adapt. In the end I got a bit nervous serving up three match points, but those are things that happen and I’m for sure really happy I came back in the last game to save it.”

In the quarterfinals, Auger-Aliassime will face the winner of a match between Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany and Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan.

No. 3 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., will play a second-round match on Thursday versus Gilles Simon of France.

Also Wednesday, top-seeded Alexander Zverev overcame Australia’s John Millman 6-0, 3-6, 6-3.

Zverev hit 10 double-faults but held his nerve to win his fifth consecutive match in Cologne after winning last week’s Cologne Indoors.

The two back-to-back competitions were added to the provisional calendar following the suspension of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Zverev next faces eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino, who beat Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-3.

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Also, Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat Steve Johnson of the United States 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the second round.

Steve Carr

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