Felix Auger-Aliassime is one of the most promising youngsters on the ATP Tour but is yet to find his best tennis in 2020, heading to Montpellier with three victories and making a winning start following a 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 triumph over a qualifier Damir Dzumhur.
The encounter lasted for two and a half hours and Felix had the upper hand in sets two and three, delivering six breaks from 14 opportunities and suffering two from six opportunities offered to the Bosnian who fought well in the opener before losing ground versus the higher-ranked opponent.
They traded early breaks in games two and three before Damir survived tough eighth game to stay in contention, taking the tie break 7-5 for a huge roar and a big step towards the win.
With no room for errors, Felix served well in set number two and delivered breaks in games five and seven, securing the set with a service winner at 5-2 and racing into a 5-1 advantage in set number three with three consecutive breaks.
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Serving for the victory in the eighth match, Auger-Aliassime saved three break chances to seal the deal and make a winning start, hoping for a strong campaign and the first ATP title following three finals he lost in 2019.
Victory sets up a second-round clash with France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who eliminated Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-2 7-5, while seventh seed Filip Krajinovic also went through in straight sets, defeating Enzo Couacaud 6-4 6-4.
Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik will face second seed David Goffin next after a gruelling 6-7 (7-2) 6-1 7-6 (7-2) victory over Henri Laaksonen.
Mikael Ymer and Emil Ruusuvuori also secured passage to the last 16. James Duckworth was the highest seed in action at the Pune Open on Tuesday and the Australian – who is the sixth favourite – had little difficulty getting past Peter Gojowczyk 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.