Felix Auger-Aliassime won the battle of Canada in Melbourne on friday evening, a beating good mate Denis Shapovalov 7-5, 7-5, 6-3.
The young Canadian hit 31 winners to reach the fourth round for the first time, winning relatively easy in straight sets to take his match record to 7-1 this year.
“It was a good match on my part. It is never easy to play Denis. We played for the first time when we were nine, so we go back a long time,” Auger-Aliassime said.
Auger-Aliassime, who is yet to drop a set this week, has already claimed the scalps of Cedric-Marcel Stebe and James Duckworth.
Shapovalov was a tougher encounter.
Both players held serve early before the world number 12 had the first break at 3-3 and won the point with great volley.
Auger-Aliassime then pushed Shapovalov to the limit to take a 4-3 lead before the latter fought back.
Shapovalov then double faulted as Auger Aliassime took the set.
The second sets was a carbon copy of the first, with both players holding serve before Auger-Aliassime broke to take the lead, but was held back as Shapovalov again fought back to 4-4.
But Auger-Aliassime took the set with a stunning forehand winner.
Auger-Aliassime picked up the tempo in the third and went to easily take out the match.
“He has beaten me pretty badly a couple of times and tonight, it went my way,” Auger-Aliassime said.
“I was flawless and I played an amazing match. It is a shame that we had to play each other… I can just be happy about my performance tonight.”
“It is amazing [to be in the fourth round], especially here. I didn’t have so much luck [in the] past years, but I always loved this place.
“Finally, this year I am playing some good tennis… It is a pleasure.”
Main photo:- Felix Auger – Aliassime beats compatriot Denis Shapovalov in third round match by- Tennis Australia/ NATASHA MORELLO