Félix Auger-Aliassime could regain sixth place in the world
In light of his previous results, Félix Auger-Aliassime never seemed to like the California desert. That is now a thing of the past and his first quarter-final in Indian Wells could allow him to return to his best ranking to date, sixth in the world, on Monday.
Thursday evening, the Quebecer admitted defeat by Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz for the first time in his career. The 19-year-old star, favorite of the tournament in the absence of Serbian Novak Djokovic, won in two sets of 6-4, after two hours of play.
And these two hours, they were furious, punctuated by heated exchanges and spectacular winning shots.
Félix tried everything, but Alcaraz has been in splendid shape since he returned to the competition, in mid-February, recovered from an injury which had caused him to miss the end of the last campaign and the start of this one.
Upon his return, the Spaniard s imposed in Buenos Aires, before reaching the final in Rio de Janeiro.
Number one again?
Results, combined with his good push at this first Masters 1000 tournament of the season, which could allow him to snatch the world number one from Djokovic if he came to win the final on Sunday.
Auger-Aliassime still had good benchmarks against the second in the world. “FAA” had won the first three clashes between the two players: the first at the United States Open two years ago, before Alcaraz experienced his first great season on the circuit, then the other two at the last fall, in the Davis Cup as well as in Basel.
Exceptional… or nothing
The Spaniard was not never managed to break the service of the Quebecer. He finally reversed the jinx on Thursday. The 19-year-old sensation bludgeoned the powerful serve of Félix, currently 10th in the world.
He took 12 break points from him and Auger-Aliassime managed to save nine, including one on a superb pass.
“I would have needed to be exceptional all the time to win , analyzed Félix in front of the journalists, after the meeting. Carlos played number one. I have never faced someone so aggressive. »
“FAA” was probably not wrong, because Alcaraz, who will now face the Italian Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals, for his part felt that he had just played “his best match of the season”.
Watch out for Sinner
Despite the defeat, Auger-Aliassime had never shone so much under the sun of California. His best result in Indian Wells before this year was a third round in 2019.
His performance could allow him to return to sixth in the world, his best ranking to date that he had achieved for the first time last fall.
But Félix will have to be wary of Sinner, precisely, who can still beat him by winning the title…