Fixture: (2) Stefanos Tsitsipas vs (10) Felix Auger-Aliassime
Date: 23 April 2021
Tournament: Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell 2021
Venue: Barcelona, Spain
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €1,565,480
Match timing: Approx. 2.30 pm local time, 6 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Felix Auger-Aliassime preview
Stefanos Tsitsipas will lock horns with Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open on Friday.
Tsitsipas, seeded second at the tournament, overcame a tricky third-round fixture against Alex de Minaur on Thursday. He ended up sealing it 7-5, 6-3 to register his seventh win on the trot; the Greek is still unbeaten on clay this year.
Perhaps even more impressively, Tsitsipas has not dropped a set since his quarterfinal defeat to Hubert Hurkacz at the Miami Masters. The 22-year-old has won 13 consecutive sets beginning with his opening-round win over Aslan Karatsev at the Monte Carlo Masters.
Tsitsipas' offensive skills were put to the test by De Minaur who, with his remarkable athleticism and retrieval ability, elongated several rallies. But Tsitsipas played the big points better to close out the match in his favor.
With this win, the Monte Carlo champion has made it into his seventh ATP quarterfinal of the season in as many events (barring the ATP Cup). Tsitsipas will now be bidding to make it to his fifth semifinal of the year when he takes on Felix Auger-Aliassime in Friday's quarterfinal.
Auger-Aliassime on his part made it two wins in a row under Toni Nadal's tutelage by defeating Denis Shapovalov in the Round of 16. The 20-year-old outplayed Shapovalov for most of the match, eventually running out a 6-2, 6-3 victor.
Auger-Aliassime's serve was in fine working order on Thursday, as he won 73% of the points played on his delivery. He wasn't bad with the return either; the Canadian broke his older compatriot's serve as many as four times.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Felix Auger-Aliassime head-to-head
Stefanos Tsitsipas leads Felix Auger-Aliassime by a margin of 3-2 in the head-to-head. Tsitsipas has won the last three encounters between the two, including the quarterfinal fixture at the Mexico Open last month.
However, this will be their first match-up on clay.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Felix Auger-Aliassime prediction
Stefanos Tsitsipas is the firm favorite going into this fixture given his stellar recent form. The Greek has looked virtually unstoppable on clay so far this year, irrespective of the opponent.
That said, Felix Auger-Aliassime is fairly comfortable on the slow surface. The Canadian, like Tsitsipas, has a strong serve, with which he can ask a few questions of the Greek's return.
Auger-Aliassime has always been a tricky opponent for Tsitsipas on faster surfaces. His forehand has troubled Tsitsipas greatly in the past, and it could do some damage again on Friday.
But all things considered, Tsitsipas' form and confidence are likely to see him through to the semifinals.
Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in three sets.