Felix Auger-Aliassime reaches quarterfinals of 2021 Western & Southern Open

Felix Auger-Aliassime (Wikimedia Commons)

Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal, Quebec is in the final eight in the men’s draw of the 2021 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio. On Thursday, Auger-Aliassime defeated 2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini 6-4, 6-3.

Auger-Aliassime was the beneficiary of the fact that Berrettini was battling a thigh injury. It was the first time in Auger-Aliassime’s career that he beat Berrettini, as he previously lost to him in the final of the 2019 Stuttgart Open, and the quarterfinal of Wimbledon last month.

Auger-Aliassime has a personal connection to Berrettini. That is because he is currently dating Croatian equestrian rider Nina Ghaibi, who is the cousin of Australian tennis player Ajla Tomljanovic, who is dating Berrettini. During the long runs for Auger-Aliassime and Tomljanovic at Wimbledon this year, Ghaibi could be seen at Auger-Aliassime’s matches as well as Tomljanovic.

In addition to beating Berrettini in Cincinnati, Auger-Aliassime beat Marton Fucsovics of Hungary, 7-6, 6-3 in the first round, and Olympic silver medalist Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 in the second round. In the first set tiebreak against Fucsovics, Auger-Aliassime won all seven points.

Next up for Auger-Aliassime is Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, the 2021 French Open finalist, and second seed. Auger-Aliassime is the 12th seed in Cincinnati. Head-to-head, Tsitsipas has the 4-2 advantage, with Auger-Aliassime’s wins coming in the second round of Indian Wells in 2019, and the quarterfinals of Queen’s in 2019. The other three quarterfinals in Cincinnati in 2021 have Andrey Rublev of Russia against Benoit Paire of France, Daniil Medvedev of Russia against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, and Casper Ruud of Norway against Alexander Zverev of Germany.

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