Felix Auger-Aliassime reacts to avoiding shock loss versus qualifier in RG opener

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Felix Auger-Aliassime reacts to avoiding shock loss versus qualifier in RG opener

World No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime gave qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas credit for the performance he delivered in their French Open meeting as the Canadian admitted it took him to figure out how to play against the Perunian. Varillas, who has never been ranked inside the top-100, entered the match as the big underdog but he absolutely dominated the first two sets versus ninth-seeded Auger-Aliassime.

After a slow start to the match, Auger-Aliassime found his game in the third set and that was the start of his 2-6 2-6 6-1 6-3 6-3 comeback victory. "I feel like I left it all on the court. Because this was an important day for me, important win.

I really wanted to get this first one here. Yeah, I mean, I think I got rewarded for digging deep and finding a way to win," Auger-Aliassime said. "Varillas showed up with a great level. I made it play well, too flat, what he wanted all the time.

It was dangerous because it took me time to figure out what to change."

Auger-Aliassime survived a scare in his opener at Roland Garros

Varillas got off to a fast start to the match, breaking Auger-Aliassime in the first and fifth games to open an early 4-1 lead.

Varillas missed out on his first set point in the seventh game but served out for the opener in the eighth game. Pretty much the same scenario happened in the second set as Varillas claimed two breaks and dropped no service games to open a two-set lead.

Down by two sets, Auger-Aliassime started playing much better as he earned his first break of the match in the fourth game of the third set to open a 3-1 lead. It didn't take long for Auger-Aliassime to claim his second break as he broke Varillas again in the sixth game and served out for the third set in the following game.

After winning the second set, Auger-Aliassime broke Varillas in the first and ninth games of the fourth set to send the match into a decisive fifth set. In the fifth set, Auger-Aliassime claimed the first break of the set in the eighth game to open a 5-3 lead, before serving out for the match in the following game.

Auger-Aliassime is playing at the French Open for the third time in his career. After losing his openers at Roland Garros in 2020 and 2021, Auger-Aliassime has finally won a match at the tournament.