ATP Madrid: Felix Auger-Aliassime loses to Dusan Lajovic and extends poor run


ATP Madrid: Felix Auger-Aliassime loses to Dusan Lajovic and extends poor run

The last year's Madrid Masters quarter-finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime will not repeat that run at this year's edition. World no. 9 fell to an in-form Dusan Lajovic 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 in two hours and 33 minutes in the second round, embracing another early exit and heading to Rome with 12 ATP wins in 2023.

Dusan came to Madrid after conquering Banja Luka, facing a formidable rival but delivering another top-10 triumph after previously beating Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev. Lajovic claimed six points more than Auger-Aliassime, wasting five match points but seizing the sixth in the deciding tie break to emerge at the top and extend his winning streak.

The Serb played better behind the second serve and got broken once from two chances offered to his rival. Felix hit 12 aces and 11 double faults, losing serve two times and experiencing an early exit despite giving his everything in the decider.

They had a similar number of service winners, with the Canadian as the more aggressive player.

Dusan Lajovic converted his sixth match point against Felix Auger-Aliassime in Madrid.

However, those 11 double faults cost him dearly and kept him behind in the shortest range up to four strokes.

Felix netted a forehand in the encounter's first game to lose serve. He served below 40% and sprayed a forehand error in game three to fall 3-0 behind and send momentum to the other side. Dusan served well and opened a 5-1 gap with an ace.

Auger-Aliassime prolonged the set before Lajovic clinched it with a perfect backhand down the line winner for 6-2 in 35 minutes. Felix raised his level in the second set, serving well and hoping for chances on the return. He broke Dusan at 15 in the sixth game after the Serb's backhand error to open a 4-2 gap and settle into a fine rhythm.

The Canadian served for the set at 5-3 and faced a break point. He denied it with a service winner and forced the rival's mistake to wrap up the set and introduce a decider after 81 minutes. There was nothing for the returners to work with in the final set's opening 11 games, with Lajovic holding at 15 with a service winner for 6-5.

Auger-Aliassime squandered a 40-0 lead in the 12th game and faced two match points. Felix denied them with winners and landed another from his forehand to introduce a tie break. Lajovic left those chances behind and gained a 3-0 lead after Auger-Aliassime's costly double fault.

The Serb won the following two points behind the initial shot to open a 5-0 gap and move closer to the finish line. Dusan landed a service winner for 6-2 and four match points. The Canadian fought well and defended three to reduce the deficit to 6-5.

Lajovic made no errors in the 12th point, firing a strong forehand and converting his sixth match point to deliver a top-10 victory and move into the third round.

Atp Madrid Felix Auger-aliassime Dusan Lajovic