Teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime will take on Milos Raonic in the semi-final of the Stuttgart Open on Saturday.
Auger-Aliassime has impressed in Stuttgart as he looks to clinch his first ATP major title. He has reached two finals this year, but lost in both. Laslo Djere beat him in the Rio Open in February in Auger-Aliassime’s first final. In May, he reached the final of the Lyon open where he lost to Benoit Paire. Aged just 18, he still has a lot of time ahead of him to start capturing those title. If things go well, he could get it in Stuttgart.
His tournament started perfectly, as he claimed victories in straight sets in each of his first two games. Ernests Gulbis and Gilles Simon were dispatched with relative ease by the Canadian. In the quarter-final, he faced the most crucial test, yet in the form of Dustin Brown. Brown had beat Alexander Zverev in the previous round. Auger-Aliassime saved a match point to take down Brown in a closely fought encounter.
There were no breaks of serve in the first two sets, and both the players took one each on the tie-breaker. It was Brown who broke first in the third set when he went ahead 3-2 after winning the fifth game on Auger-Aliassime’s serve. Brown led 5-4 and was serving for the match. Auger-Aliassime fought back and saved a match point in that game before leveling the set at 5-5. He then dropped just two points in the third tie-breaker of the match to close out the win.
Meanwhile, Milos Raonic is trying to stake a claim among the world’s best players. The Canadian was ranked as high as 3rd in 2016, but he has fallen in recent years. He is currently ranked 17th in the world as injuries have made his ranking fall. A knee problem meant that he could not participate in clay. He is making his return to action in Stuttgart. Raonic took the court before this at the Miami Open in March.
Raonic’s first two games went the distance, but he fought to claim victories in both of them. Alexei Popyrin and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga respectively were defeated in the first two rounds. “The match was very close, I was fortunate to get away with the win today,” said Raonic after playing Tsonga. “I’m just going to keep fighting and hoping I can win as many games, sets, and matches as possible. I’m working my way through and trying to enjoy the win without thinking about injuries.” Raonic beat Marton Fucsovics in the quarter-final on Friday.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Milos Raonic Prediction
This match will be a close one between the two Canadians, but Raonic will be a slight favorite. The 28-year-old has bags of experience compared to Auger-Aliassime, which should see him through. Raonic has won the only match these two have played so far. The game is likely to go to three sets, but Raonic should pull through to progress to the final.