Felix Auger-Aliassime found his inner zen to overcome a difficult challenge from Maxime Cressy, with the fourth seed earning a debut win on Tuesday at the ATP Dubai event.
Canada’s FAA said staying calm against the erratic serve-and-volley attack of Cressy was his secret sauce to get through 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3 at the Aviation Club.
FAA advanced with just under half of the 27 aces laid down by his opponent, though the erratic Cressy also threw in 25 double faults.
Victory took a laborious three hours and puts the 22-year-old into a test against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego.
“He does not have the most common game,” the winner said of the French-born American. “He’s difficult to play.”
The win earned revenge for a loss the Canadian took to Cressy in last summer’s Wimbledon first round.
“He got me last time, I was unprepared,” the winner said. “I was not able to stay composed like I did today.
“In the first set I was sharp when I needed to be, it’s unfortunate the match went to three sets.
“But you need to accept the difficulty, the mental game is so important.”
Auger-Alaissime, a Doha semi-finalist last week, improved to 8-4 this season.
Main photo:- Felix Auger Aliassime making a winning start in Dubai by ATPTour.com