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Acapulco 2021: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Felix Auger-Aliassime preview, head-to-head & prediction | Abierto Mexicano Telcel

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST

Match details

Fixture: (1) Stefanos Tsitsipas vs (7) Felix Auger-Aliassime

Date: 18 March 2021

Tournament: Abierto Mexicano Telcel 2021

Round: Quarterfinals

Venue: Acapulco, Mexico

Category: ATP 500

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $1,053,560

Match timing: Approx. 8 pm local time, 7.30 am IST

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Felix Auger-Aliassime preview

Felix Auger-Aliassime
Felix Auger-Aliassime

World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas is looking to win the first title of his 2021 season in Acapulco. But the Greek has a tough task at hand as he will have to navigate past the tricky Felix Auger-Aliassime for a place in the last four on Thursday.

Tsitsipas, who is making his debut at the 500-level tournament in Mexico this year, has been in great form this year. After going unbeaten at the ATP Cup and reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open, the 22-year-old opened his campaign in Acapulco with a comfortable victory over France's Benoit Paire.

Tsitsipas then caught fire in his Round-of-16 match against the big-serving John Isner, dismantling the American 6-3. 6-2. It was a ruthless performance from Tsitsipas on return, as he won 40% of the points on Isner's first serve and 50% on his second.

The Greek has made significant improvements to his game this year. He is not rushing through his points anymore, and instead is playing with conviction and patience from the baseline. And with his win over Isner, Tsitsipas has booked a blockbuster showdown with fellow Next-Gen star Felix Auger-Aliassime.

In comparison to Tsitsipas, Auger-Aliassime has had a somewhat tame start to the season.

The 20-year-old suffered yet another ATP final loss in February, losing to Dan Evans at the 2021 Murray River Open. He then wasted a two-sets-to-love lead against Aslan Karatsev in the fourth round of the 2021 Australian Open, ultimately losing in five sets.

That said, Auger-Aliassime has been in good form this week in Acapulco. The World No. 19 has beaten Tennys Sandgren and Sebastian Korda in straight sets to reach the last eight with relative ease.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Felix Auger-Aliassime head-to-head

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime shake hands after their match at Shanghai
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime shake hands after their match at Shanghai

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime are currently tied 2-2 in their head-to-head meetings.

Auger-Aliassime had enjoyed a match-up edge over the Greek initially, beating him convincingly at the 2019 Indian Wells Masters and the 2019 Queens Championships. Tsitsipas got his first win in the rivalry by beating Auger-Aliassime at the 2019 Shanghai Masters, before triumphing again in the championship match at Marseille last year.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Felix Auger-Aliassime prediction

Stefanos Tsitsipas retrieves a ball
Stefanos Tsitsipas retrieves a ball

Stefanos Tsitsipas has played some aggressive tennis over the last week, showing impeccable footwork and ball-striking to completely subjugate his opponents.

During his Round-of-16 match Tsitsipas returned with poise, redirecting Isner's booming serves right back to his feet. And while the Greek was all over Isner's his service games, he wasted very little time on his own serve.

Felix Auger-Aliassime, on the other hand, has an effective serve and backhand but is prone to spraying errors from his forehand side. The key for the young Canadian in this match-up will be to trap Tsitsipas in his backhand corner during the cross-court rallies, as the Greek sometimes faces difficulty in hitting the sweet spot on his single-handed backhand.

That said, Tsitsipas himself has a strong forehand that can pull his opponents off the court. If the Greek can get around his backhand on the crucial points, Auger-Aliassime will be in for a tough outing during their quarterfinal encounter.

Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in straight sets.

Edited by Musab Abid
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