The 20-year-old Canadian continued his grass-swing momentum in Halle, where he arrived high on confidence after reaching the final in Stuttgart (l. to Cilic). Auger-Aliassime improved to 20-12 on the season after reaching his third semi-final of the year (also Melbourne 2).
“I’ve been playing well these past two weeks, believing in myself a lot and dominating my service games,” Auger-Aliassime said. “As soon as I got the break [in the first set], I feel like I loosened up and things were just going better and better.
“I don’t think Marcos played his best match, I’ve seen him play great matches before and beat Top 10 opponents… but in the end, I think I was able to put a lot of pressure on him and dictate the points. So I can be happy with my performance.”
Auger-Aliassime had to hit reset and refocus after achieving one of the biggest wins of his career in the last round, when he came back from a set down to upset Roger Federer, his childhood idol and a 10-time Halle champion.
“The main goal was to refocus. I received a lot of messages and attention, and those kinds of things can be tricky,” he admitted. “They can take you out of your ‘zone’ and your focus on the tournament.
“And maybe the outside doesn’t understand that as much, because even though it looks like I’ve won ‘easy’, I still have to come out and play good tennis and a good match. I think I made a good effort, stayed in my zone, and came out and played great again.”
Auger-Aliassime fired 25 winners and just seven unforced errors across two sets against qualifier Giron, who was seeking a place in his first tour-level semi-final. The Canadian’s big serve helped him take control of the rallies and shut down Giron’s chances, winning 93 per cent (28/30) of points behind his first serves.
Auger-Aliassime saved the only break point he faced at 2-2 in the opening set, and never looked back as he raced to a break of his own in the next game to lead 4-2. He dropped just one point behind his serve in a dominant second set, taking the lead with a double break. The Canadian fired his 14th ace of the match to set up match point, and backed it up with a powerful unreturned serve to seal the victory.