Has Felix Auger-Aliassime forgotten how to lose?

The world No. 8 looked to be on his way out of the Paris Masters Wednesday, until he wasn’t. Playing his opener on Court 1, Auger-Aliassime battled back to prevail over Mikael Ymer, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (6), after 3 hours and 30 minutes for his 14th consecutive victory.

“Definitely a win to remember,” he summed up afterwards during a sideline interview.

The Canadian arrived for the Masters 1000 event on the back of three titles in three weeks, a stretch that propelled the 22-year-old to No. 6 in the Race to Turin. But a missed opportunity to close out the opening set at 5-4, 30-40 on Ymer’s serve spiraled into Auger-Aliassime’s back going up against the wall.

After his streak of 93 successive holds came to an end, Auger-Aliassime stared down two break points in his next service game at 1-4.

“I thought I was going to lose at that point in all honesty,” the No. 8 seed admitted.

This was the first match during Auger-Aliassime's unbeaten indoor run to be pushed into a final-set tiebreaker.

This was the first match during Auger-Aliassime's unbeaten indoor run to be pushed into a final-set tiebreaker.


Unable to put the match on his racquet, Ymer then unraveled for a period when he focused his energy on the chair umpire's line call management. He dropped 14 of 17 points before engaging in a lengthy discussion following the ninth game, then missed two more break points to see the set slip away completely.

Ymer regrouped by twice erasing a break deficit to keep pace in a decider that eventually led to a decisive tiebreak. A terrific forehand on the run and a pair of timely first serves brought the qualifier from 2-4 to 5-4, but after changing ends for a second time, Ymer tightened up on the baseline in finishing with two loose errors.

“I was very worn out, not feeling great physically. Somehow, I found a second wind after saving those break points at 4-1,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I played better and better, coming through the court much better. Serving better. It was pretty epic. Quality rallies, he was making work all the time.”

In the third round, Auger-Aliassime awaits the winner of Taylor Fritz and Gilles Simon. Both are potential opponents of note—Fritz needs to win the title this week in order to qualify for the ATP Finals, while the Frenchman is contesting the final event of his career. One area Auger-Aliassime may look to shore up in the next round: his backhand. Against Ymer, he found five winners while donating 20 unforced errors.