Felix Auger-Aliassime toughs it out in Roland Garros 2022 first round

Felix Auger-Aliassime claims career first, toughs out maiden Roland Garros victory

Felix Auger-Aliassime now has at least one win in every Slam main draw as he completed a stunning Roland Garros comeback from two sets to love down in his first round match.

Moreover, today’s result represents the first time ever that Auger-Aliassime has won a match from two sets down, defeating Peruvian qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas 2-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.

The young Canadian had made two previous appearances at Roland Garros, going out to Yoshihito Nishioka in 2020 and Andreas Seppi last year, both in the first round.

He said when interviewed by Fabrice Santoro after this win: “It is a dream for me to play here on Court Philippe Chatrier, it’s an honour.”

Auger-Aliassime conducted his interview completely in French, endearing himself to the Parisian crowd even if they backed the Peruvian underdog over the ninth seed at times.

He added later speaking with Mats Wilander: “I have this French side of me, of course, being French-speaking.

“I’ve always loved playing anywhere in France, but this one feels special, my first win here since junior times.”

The 21-year-old last won a Roland Garros match in 2016, during that year’s boys’ singles competition.

Seeded 11th, he made it all the way to the final before losing to home talent Geoffrey Blancaneaux 6-1, 3-6, 6-8.

The world number nine will face the winner of the battle between Camilo Ugo Carabelli, another qualifier, or world number 39 Aslan Karatsev of Russia.

Auger-Aliassime has faced Karatsev three times before, but just once at tour level.

That battle came at the 2021 Australian Open during the Russian’s breakthrough run to that year’s semi-final.

He overcame Auger-Aliassime from two sets down that day, 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

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