LONDON – Félix Auger-Aliassime had a pretty full day Thursday, when he finally made his Queen’s Club debut.
A first-round match against 2014 champion Grigor Dimitrov wasn’t simple, but he got through in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
And then, he faced Nick Kyrgios, who had defeated lucky loser Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain in his own delayed first-round match.
The first meeting between the 24-year-old Aussie and the 18-year-old Canadian pretty much had everything – and then some, as we’ll show in a photo essay later.
But most of all, it featured a 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 7-5 win by Auger-Aliassime.
The Canadian will will play No. 1 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Kyrgios hurt his hip/adductor area after a spill on the second point of the third set. But if he’d played lights out until then, the final set was mostly a matter of Kyrgios trying to hold serve, slapping at a few on Auger-Aliassime’s service games, and hoping for a tiebreaker.
In the end, the Canadian was able to break him for the first time in the final game.
After which, Kyrgios decided to chuck his racket – right over the few rows of stands and out onto a concourse.
Few were impressed. Auger-Aliassime can be included amongst that group.
Here he is talking about what a complicated match it is against Kyrgios and how while he respects the player, he’s not a huge fan of the man.
(The interview, conducted in French for RDS, is on the RDS website – we’ve subtitled it here).
Generally, the players have a “boys will be boys” attitude about Kyrgios’s antics. Many of them like him off the court, and as we know, men tend to be somewhat more forgiving of other men’s flaws.
It’s impressive that Auger-Aliassime, at his age, has such a strong sense of himself. And of what he thinks is right and wrong, what’s acceptable and what isn’t. And that he’s not afraid to speak on it.