ATP Australian Open: Felix Auger-Aliassime edges Marin Cilic to reach quarters

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ATP Australian Open: Felix Auger-Aliassime edges Marin Cilic to reach quarters

The young Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime is through to his third Major quarter-final thanks to a 2-6, 7-6, 6-2, 7-6 victory over a former Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic. Felix toppled Marin after three hours and 35 minutes for his best result at the Australian Open, starting all over after losing the opener and staying calm in both tie breaks to bring the victory home and remain on the title course.

Both players hit over 20 aces and dominated with the first serve, taking 128 out of 149 points after landing it in! Felix played better behind the second serve and faced only two break points in the opener. Marin converted them for a reliable start before losing ground on the return in the rest of the encounter, battling hard to stay in touch.

The more experienced Croat defended 13 out of 15 break chances to follow the rival's pace, squandering a set point in the second set's tie break and dropping the fourth 7-4 to propel the Canadian over the finish line.

Felix Auger-Aliassime advanced to his first Australian Open quarter-final.

Cilic had 60 winners and unforced errors, while Auger-Aliassime produced more compact numbers and built a crucial advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes.

Marin saved two break chances in the encounter's second game and broke at 15 in the next one to forge the advantage. Auger-Aliassime got broken again at 2-4 following a double fault, and Cilic sealed the opener with a service winner in game eight after 35 minutes.

The Canadian served well in the second set and earned three set points on the return at 5-4. Cilic saved them with powerful serves and held at love in game 12 to introduce a tie break. It saw four mini-breaks in a row, as the rivals stayed neck and neck.

Marin earned a set point with an unreturned serve at 5-5, and Felix saved it with his most valuable ace in the entire match. The Canadian fired a service winner at 8-7 to wrap up the set and gain a massive boost after standing one point away from trailing two sets to love.

Auger-Aliassime sailed through the third set, barely losing a point behind the initial shot and delivering two breaks for a massive advantage. Felix seized the sixth break chance at 1-1 and opened a 5-2 gap when Marin hit a terrible smash.

In game eight, the youngster held at love to secure the set, looking good to move over the top in the fourth. Marin saved two break points at the beginning of the fourth set and followed the rival's pace in the remaining games to present the second tie break, a must-winning one for him.

Felix opened a 4-2 gap and fired an ace down the T line to extend the lead. Serving at 5-4, the Canadian painted two winners to emerge at the top and reach his first Australian Open quarter-final at 21.