Felix Auger-Aliassime Continues Grand Slam Chase at Australian Open
With Denis Shapovalov losing on Friday and Bianca Andresscu falling on the women’s side, Felix Auger-Aliassime remains Canada’s last hope for the nation’s first Australian Open Grand Slam title.
No. 6 Auger-Aliassime defeated Francisco Cerundolo in four sets (6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4) to advance to the tournament's fourth round.
The 22-year-old recorded nine aces and had 38 winners compared to Cerundolo’s 22. It’s the third straight year Auger-Aliassime advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open as he looks to become Canada’s first Grand Slam champion.
“I was playing a bit tight and not going for it in the second set and he did, so credit to him,” Auger-Aliassime said in the post-match press conference. “I’m happy with how I was able to turn it around and the last two sets were probably some of my best ones so far in this tournament. It’s a good start and just happy to be through.”
It’s taken a bit for Auger-Aliassime to feel comfortable in each of his matches during this tournament. He dropped the first set in each of his first matches, including against fellow countryman Vasek Pospisil in the first round (1-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-3). Auger-Aliassime also dropped the first two sets against Alex Molcan (3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2) before rallying for the five-set victory.
Up next for Auger-Aliassime is Jiri Lehecka. A win would mark a second straight quarterfinal appearance for Auger-Aliassime, which is the furthest he has advanced in the Australian Open. Auger-Aliasssime Betting Odds
Auger-Aliassime is a sizable favorite for his matchup with Lehecka, coming in at a 1.24 favorite on the moneyline at FanDuel Sportsbook, while Lehecka is 4.20 to pull off the upset.
Of the remaining players, Auger-Aliassime has the fifth-best odds to win the tournament. FanDuel lists Auger-Aliassime at 13.00 in the futures betting market to claim his first Grand Slam and is 4.90 to reach the final, where a matchup with pre-tourney favorite, Novak Djokovic, remains possible.
Novak Djokovic Still Favored
Despite losing just one set in two matches, Djokovic’s odds of winning the tournament have jumped. Djokovic entered as a 1.8 favorite, but a hamstring injury has seen that number increase to 2.15 at FanDuel.
Djokovic took care of French qualifier Enzo Couacaud (6-1, 6-7, 6-2, 6-0) in the second round of the tournament for his 23rd straight win at the Australian Open, but the biggest storyline coming out of the match was the status of his hamstring.
During the match, he would prop his left foot on a sign so he could stretch out the ailing hamstring and could be seen grimacing flexing the muscle after a point. Djokovic also called a medical timeout during the second set so he could get re-taped.
“I am worried,” Djokovic said in his post-match conference. “I mean, I cannot say that I’m not; I have reason to be worried.
“There’s not much more to talk about. There’s two choices: Leave it or keep going, so I’m going to keep going.”
Djokovic will now face No. 27 Grigor Dimitrov for a spot in the fourth round.
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