TURIN | Félix Auger-Aliassime will have his destiny in his hands, Thursday around 8 h, when he will face the American Taylor Fritz in the last match of the group stage of the ATP Finals.
The Quebecer was treated to a helping hand from one of his pet peeves, Norwegian Casper Ruud, on Tuesday, who defeated Fritz 6-3, 4-6 and 7-6 (6) in a match played in the evening in Turin.
To access the semi-finals, Félix will now have to overcome the American, eighth favorite in the competition. The two athletes claim a record of one victory and one loss.
Auger-Aliassime has only faced him once since the beginning of his career: it was at the ATP Cup, at the start of year, and Fritz got away with a narrow victory, in three sets.
Auger-Aliassime, seeded fifth at the Pala Alpitour, can only finish higher than second in his group. This means that if he reaches the semi-finals, he will face the player who will point to the top of the “red chicken”.
Ruud, first qualifier
Fallout of the Quebecois Sunday in two sets, Ruud became the first participant to obtain his ticket for the semi-finals. A feat that the third favorite also achieved last year, losing to the Russian Daniil Medvedev.
Ruud's victory also eliminated the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, the other member of the “green” group, which has suffered two losses in as many games since the start of the event bringing together the eight best racquets of the season.
And this performance by the 23-year-old Norwegian had an even greater domino effect: it ensures Carlos Alcaraz, 19, to end the year in first place in the world, making him the youngest player in history. to achieve this feat.
1st rank is a thing of the past
< p>The Spaniard, winner at the US Open, is absent in Italy due to an abdominal injury.
Nadal could still aspire to a return to the top step of the podium, but for this, the 36-year-old champion absolutely had to reach the final.
Shortly after his defeat against Auger-Aliassime, earlier yesterday, “Rafa ” already suspected that it would be his compatriot who would get the honor.
“ I am happy for Carlos, he said. It's a great achievement, very well deserved after his great season.
” [Finishing the year in first place] would have been an incredible achievement at this stage of my career. But it is no longer a goal that I am trying to achieve, added “Rafa”. My body and my age don't allow it anymore.