Canadian tennis star Felix Auger-Aliassime reveals fellow compatriot and close friend Denis Shapovalov has always been pushing him to be a better player.. Auger-Aliassime, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 11 in the world, could meet Wimbledon semifinalist Shapovalov in the Stockholm Open semifinal..
Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov have played twice this year and Auger-Aliassime ended on the winning side on both occasions.. On Thursday, Auger-Aliassime beat Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4 6-3 in the Stockholm quarterfinal.
In the last match of the day, Shapovalov takes on Arhur Rinderknech. "Yeah, so he is going to want revenge. But it's always like this. We have known each for a long time, since we were very young. He's always pushing me to a better player.
I think we push each other to be better in a way and it'd always a treat and a pleasure to play him. Like I said, I'm confident that he can win tonight and hopefully we can play good battle tommorow," Auger-Aliassime said in his on-court interview.
Shapovalov was hoping Auger-Aliassime would make the Nitto ATP Finals
Auger-Aliassime had a solid shot at making the Nitto ATP Finals but he fell short in his attempt. "Definitely, I think that Felix has a great opportunity to contest the ATP Finals 2021.
I think he should be there: he has had a spectacular season and I am very clear that his place is among the eight best in the world," Shapovalov told Tennis Channel last month. On Thursday, Auger-Aliassime made a good start to the match against van de Zandschulp, breaking the Dutch in the fifth game.
Auger-Aliassime failed to convert any of his four set points in the ninth game but routinely served out for the opener in the 10th game.. Van de Zandschulp was up 3-2 in the second set before Auger-Aliassime claimed back-to-back breaks to win four games in a row and book a straight-set win. Auger-Aliassime is two wins away from winning Stockholm in his debut at the tournament.