Felix Auger-Aliassime survives Alexander Zverev five-setter, Novak Djokovic in cruise control
Felix Auger-Aliassime saluted the finest victory of his career after beating Alexander Zverev at Wimbledon to win a five-setter for the first time.
The Canadian reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final with a 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 3-6, 6-4 triumph in four gruelling hours.
Auger-Aliassime had only been the distance once before, losing from two sets ahead against Aslan Karatsev at last year’s US Open.
The 20-year-old also had a two-set lead against fourth seed Zverev, who has already played an incredible 25 five-set matches in his relatively short career, winning 16 of them.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 5, 2021
Zverev looked a likely winner when he finally rediscovered his first serve and levelled the match at 2-2.
But Auger-Aliassime found another gear just as Zverev’s serve deserted him again in the decider.
“It’s a dream come true, unbelievable,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I’m just a normal guy from Montreal and here I am. Court One, Wimbledon.
“It’s surely the best victory of my life so far. With the roof closed the sound was crazy, like nothing I’ve experienced before.
“It was super difficult, I’ve never beaten Alex before, or even won a set against him. When he started serving better and things got difficult I had to dig deep.”
Auger-Aliassime will meet Queen’s Club champion Matteo Berrettini, who beat Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.
Canada day may have been last Thursday but the nation was celebrating two quarter-finalists after Denis Shapovalov beat Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets.
Top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic had little trouble in dispensing of Chile’s Christian Garin 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, and eight-time winner Roger Federer joined his rival in the last eight after beating Lorenzo Sonego of Italy 7-5, 6-4, 6-2.
Djokovic will play Marton Fucsovics, who finally defeated his nemesis Andrey Rublev.
The Russian fifth seed had beaten Fucsovics three times this year but the Hungarian won 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final.
There was a marathon on Court 18 with 25th seed Karen Khachanov beating Sebastian Korda 10-8 in the fifth set.
Second seed Daniil Medvedev was two sets to one up and 3-4, on serve, in the fourth when his match against Hubert Hurkacz was curtailed by rain. The winner will face Federer.
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