Felix Auger-Aliassime begins Miami Open with straight-set win

League: Tennis

Posted on: 22 Mar, 2024 at 04:13 AM

Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Felix Auger-Aliassime, off to a mediocre start to the year, began the Miami Open the right way on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Canadian beat Australian qualifier Adam Walton 7-5, 6-4 in first-round action at Miami Gardens, Fla.

Auger-Aliassime advances to face fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany in the second round.

Entering play Thursday, Auger-Aliassime had a 7-7 record this year, most recently having fallen 6-2, 6-3 to Carlos Alcaraz in the third round at Indian Wells, Calif. Alcaraz went on to win the tournament.

Auger-Aliassime piled up an 11-2 edge in aces against Walton, and he saved all five break points on his serve -- three of them being break points at 4-5 in the first set.

"I wasn't doing anything too bad in the first set, I thought he was just playing really well, serving to his targets, (playing) high percentage," Auger-Aliassime said. "He was making me work. It was tricky, he was not missing much. But I'm happy with the way I handled it, to come out of a match like this in straight sets to start things off is positive for me."

Auger-Aliassime, who wound up with a huge 32-11 advantage in winners, produced his best Miami result as a qualifier in 2019, when he made the semifinals.

Three Spaniards won their first-round matches on Thursday. Qualifier Roberto Bautista Agut got past the U.S. qualifier Emilio Nava 6-3, 7-6 (4). Roberto Carballes Baena defeated Australia's Aleksandar Vukic 7-6 (2), 6-3, and Martin Landaluce prevailed in an all-Spanish matchup against Jaume Munar, 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.

For Landaluce, 18, it was his first career ATP Tour-level win.

Also advancing on Thursday were Germany's Daniel Altmaier and Yannick Hanfmann, Russia's Roman Safiullin, Serbia's Laslo Djere, Great Britain's Daniel Evans, South Korea's Soonwoo Kwon, Hungary's Fabian Marozsan, France's Gael Monfils, Austria's Sebastian Ofner, Australia's Alexei Popyrin, Kazakhstan's Alexander Shevchenko and Chile's Alejandro Tabilo.

--Field Level Media