It took three sets of 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 for Felix Auger-Aliassime to defeat Alexander Zverev at the round-robin ATP cup event. He was just trying to give Canada a heads up in the rally and succeeded very well. When Auger-Aliassime walked onto the court, he had only a single win over the defiant German who trashed the Canadian four times.
But that gave Felix more reason to put his best foot, rally and strategies forward to come up with the goods. The Canadian had great appreciation for his German oponent but was happy that he could add another win notch to their head-to-head.
"He is a great player and he has beaten me a couple of times before...I am happy...to get the job done today, especially for the team," Auger-Aliassime said with a big grin. By him taking the first set gave him the mental confidence to carry on with being assertive but Zverev had other ideas.
He brought out his bag of tricks and led in the second set 5-4. The Canadian did succeeded by making the German hit one more ball but the fault fell back on Felix who had a reply sail over the baseline. It was literally down to who was the most clever in the deciding set and it turned out to be Auger-Aliassime.
The last set was close at 4-3 but Zverev's unforced errors started swinging a nasty angle into the doubles alley and Felix was the outright winner. He'd brought Canada to the semifinal berth and it felt good he could contribute not only for himself but for his country Felix Auger-Aliassime actually did well in the previous tournaments, going deep in the Stockholm Open against fellow Canadian,Denis Shapovalov and then at the Vienna Open reaching the quarterfinal with Alexander Zverev as an opponent again.
It was at the U.S. Open that Felix landed in the semifinal with Russian's Daniil Medvedev but that time came up a bit short losing a three-setter. The Canadian is paving a smooth path for success and starting this season with the ATP Cup.
Auger-Aliassime reflects on how important it is to stay mentally positive saying "Trust me, it's not always easy to stay positive out there. I was able to do so today and I think that's why I was able to win in the third set." The Canadian has more to do in sharpening up his game but is taking it one step at a time to not only do well for himself but for his country.