August 9, 2019 - 10:32 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Karen Khachanov played the spoiler on Thursday, August 8, beating home favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7(7), 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the Rogers Cup quarterfinals in Montreal, the official site of Men's Professional Tennis reveals.
The World No. 8 was broken while serving for the second set at 5-3 but regrouped to break Auger-Aliassime in a set that featured six breaks of serve. There were 12 in total for the match.
The raucous crowd was trying to will the 19-year-old Auger-Aliassime to his second Masters 1000 quarter-final (Miami 2019), chanting "Let's go, Felix!" throughout the match.
But Khachanov, at age 23, four years Auger-Aliassime's senior, was the more composed of the two in the decider, commanding play from the baseline and benefitting from some nervy play on Auger-Aliassime's side.
“Honestly, it was a roller coaster today. Not many matches have been played like that,” Khachanov said. “Today was tough conditions, really windy. I think both of us were struggling to take our serves, which are pretty powerful normally. I just had to win playing a little bit ugly.”
Khachanov made his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros in June and is through to his first Masters 1000 quarter-final since March at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (l. to Nadal). But the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier has taken a liking to Canada in past years, making the semi-finals in Toronto last year, before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.
The Russian player, who is of Armenian descent, won't have to face Nadal until the final, but third seed Alexander Zverev will have plenty to say about Khachanov reaching the semi-finals. The 2017 champion beat Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-5, 5-7, 7-6(5) to make his second Masters 1000 quarter-final of the season (Madrid).