ATP: Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov were eliminated in the quarter-finals in Rome

Félix Auger-Aliassime put on quite a show but lost 7-5, 7-6 to Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Rome on Friday.

With his back to the wall, Félix pulls a rabbit out of his hat!

For Auger-Aliassime it was a first confrontation with the Serb. The two men impressed the spectators on site with many grandiose exchanges of blows. With this win, Djokovic secured first place in the ATP rankings.

After suffering a break of serve in the opener, the Quebecer bounced back as his opponent served to take the honor. He recovered 5:5, but the world number one, including the set point, got the next two points with a tough forehand.

During the second set, Djoko returned to attack again by recording a break. Auger-Aliassime offered a break point after a spectacular move at 4-2 but Djokovic shut the door after that. Auger-Aliassime cleared a match point to force his opponent to serve for a semifinal spot.

Djokovic faltered again and the ninth racquet in the world caught up on the lost serve break. The Quebecer then shone in a stunning exchange at love and the two players went into the tiebreak. Djokovic dominated this part of the game, winning seven of the eight disputed points in the last game and slipping into the semifinals after more than two hours of play.

“I’ve never met him before but I know him as he’s been around the circuit for a while. He has a whole ministry. He’s very precise on serve, but he also returns well,” Djokovic commented after the match.

Earlier in the day, Denis Shapovalov lost in straight sets 7-6, 7-5 to five-seeded Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals.

Ruud won both duels between the two men.

Ruud defeats Shapovalov in quarterfinals

The two men delivered an exciting first set that had to be decided in a tie-break.

In the tie-break, Shapovalov managed to erase a set point. On the next point, a lucky shot from Ruud as his shot hit the top of the net allowed him to give Shapo no chance to afford another set point, which he snatched.

After another hard-fought set, Shapovalov got a first set point with 5:4, but he couldn’t complete it.

From the next game, Ruud and Shapo fought an even closer battle in an 11and Game that lasted more than 14 minutes. Shapovalov saved eight break points but the ninth time was the winner for Ruud, who registered the break. He finished working on his serve to bid farewell to the semifinals with a 7-5 win in the second set.

Ruud now meets Djokovic in the semifinals, who is aiming for his 1000th career win.

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