World No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime showed respect to 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic following their clash at the Australian Open. Auger-Aliassime, 21, beat former world No. 3 Cilic 2-6 7-6 (7) 6-2 7-6 (4) to reach his maiden Australian Open quarterfinal.
It was the fourth meeting between the two and Auger-Aliassime's first win over Cilic. “It puts my self-belief even higher,” Auger-Aliassime said in his on-court interview. “This was my first win against him, at an important moment like this.
I told him at the end of the match, he’s a champion, the way he handles himself, the way he plays, so he’s going to come out with his best level and test me and make me earn my win. I’m really relieved and happy to get through, especially the way I did it”.
Auger-Aliassime happy with his comeback win
“He was hitting so clean at the start of the match,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I played one poor game at 4-2 but the rest of the set I think he was just playing better than me, doing everything better.
The second was tight, but that was a crucial turnaround. You can’t afford to go two-sets-to-love down, that would have been tough, so that was a crucial moment and then in the third I started feeling better and better”.
Auger-Aliassime has had a good start to the season as he is aiming to win his second title of the year. Auger-Aliassime started 2022 at the ATP Cup, where he led Canada to their first ATP Cup title. Auger-Aliassime is now aiming to lift his maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.
Auger-Aliassime plays world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open quarterfinal. “I’m feeling good,” said Auger-Aliassime. “It was quite hot at the start, the sun here in Australia hits you pretty hard.
It’s still early in the day, I’m going to have time to recover before I play again on Wednesday, so it’s the perfect scenario”.