ATP Lyon: Felix Auger-Aliassime withdraws. Is Roland Garros in danger?
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 17563
The young Frenchman Arthur Fils will compete in the semi-final at the home ATP 250 event in Lyon. The young gun received a walkover from world no. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime, who is dealing with shoulder pain. The Canadian wanted to avoid risking anything a few days ahead of Roland Garros, hoping to recover and seek a much-needed deep run in Paris.
Felix has had a poor season, winning 13 out of 22 matches and reaching only one semi-final. Auger-Aliassime is yet to earn 700 ATP points in 2023, and his top-10 spot is in danger if he fails to raise his level in the upcoming months.
Felix was the Indian Wells quarter-finalist before experiencing three straight losses in Miami, Madrid and Rome. Auger-Aliassime entered Lyon following an early exit at Foro Italico, seeking the title as the top seed.
Felix Auger-Aliassime revealed a shoulder injury ahead of Roland Garros.
The finalist from four years ago met the 20-year-old qualifier Pablo Llamas Ruiz in the second round and scored a 7-5, 6-2 victory. The top seed struggled in the opener against world no. 240 before raising his level in set number two to move into the last eight.
Auger-Aliassime dropped ten out of 15 points behind the second serve. Luckily for him, he served at 73% and defended three out of four break chances. The Spaniard could not follow that pace from 5-5 in the opener, losing serve four times and ending his ATP debut in the second round.
Pablo landed a drop shot winner in the encounter's first game for two break chances, seizing the first with a forehand winner for an early advantage. Felix broke back at love in game two and held at love at 2-2 to move in front.
Llamas Ruiz produced a fine hold in game eight for 4-4 and hit a beautiful forehand in the tenth to extend the set. The Spaniard served to stay in the set at 5-6 and got broken at 15 to hand it to his rival after 51 minutes.
Felix denied break points at the start of the second set and broke in the next one to move 2-0 in front. Auger-Aliassime fired a service winner in game five for 4-1 and did the same two games later for 5-2. Pablo served to stay in the match in game eight, and Felix forced his error with a sharp return that propelled him over the top.
However, the Canadian revealed a shoulder injury and withdrew ahead of the quarter-final clash with the young Frenchman Arthur Fils.