Ever since the draw came out in Monte Carlo, the entire tennis world anticipated the second round clash between Alexander Zverev and Felix-Auger-Aliassime, tennis stars of the future. Super talented Canadian secured the 15th ATP win of the season against Juan Ignacio Londero on Tuesday in just under two hours and had not much left in the tank for the German clash, with Zverev earning a 6-1, 6-4 triumph in an hour and 18 minutes, his 56th at Masters 1000 series.
It wasn't the prettiest match we could have got, with just 18 winners and more than 50 unforced errors, although Alexander made only 18 of those to forge the crucial lead. Spraying mistakes from both wings, Felix lost the edge in both the quickest and more extended rallies, unable to move Zverev from the comfort zone and losing almost 60% of the points behind the initial shot after six breaks he gave to Alexander.
On the other hand, world no. 3 managed to limit the damage in his games, dropping serve twice in set number two and erasing that deficit with three straight rock-solid return games to march into the last 16. The younger player made a slow start, taking 13 points in the opener and suffering three breaks to give Zverev the necessary momentum after a poor run in Marrakech last week.
The Canadian wasted a game point in the opening game, getting broken after a backhand winner from Alexander who moved 4-1 up when Felix netted a backhand slice in game five. Another poor backhand at 1-5 sealed Auger-Aliassime's fate in the first set, handing it to Zverev 6-1 after just 30 minutes and having to raise his level to change the order in set number two.
It was a promising start, breaking Zverev in the third game to open a 3-1 lead before hitting costly double fault at 3-2 to bring Alexander back into contention. Auger-Aliassime broke again in game seven but it wasn't to be for him, spraying a forehand error a few minutes later to lose the advantage and giving another gift to the German at 4-5 to drop serve once again and sent Zverev into the third round.