‘The nerves kicked in’, says relieved Felix Auger-Aliassime in Acapulco

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Felix Auger-Aliassime reached the second round of the Mexican Open in Acapulco after beating Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 7-6 (10-8).

After the pair traded early breaks, the 20-year-old Canadian broke again for 5-3 before serving out the first set.

The seventh seed broke in the opening game of the second set. Both players then held four times – until Auger-Aliassime was broken when serving for the match at 5-4.

The world No. 18 converted his sixth match point in the tiebreak to get over the line in a one-hour-and-12-minute second set.

“For sure it’s a relief. I was playing great overall this match,” Auger-Aliassime said in a post-match interview.

“I got broken once, missed a few forehands in the first set, but overall it was a great match until I got myself serving for the match and the nerves kicked in.

“It was kind of weird, I didn’t expect that to happen at all, I felt good. Sometimes you’ve just got to accept what’s happening and deal with the outcome.”

Sandgren won the pair’s only previous meeting in a third set tiebreak at the Western & Southern Open in New York last year.

“I think I was dominating much better (than in New York),” Auger-Aliassime added.

“Back in New York last year, I think I was letting him play a little bit too much, giving him too much time.

“This time around, I dictated from the first balls of the rally with my forehand, so that was good. I was moving well out there as well.

“It was kind of tense like last time and Tennys is a great fighter, so it’s never easy to finish a match against him.”

The Canadian will face Sebastian Korda in the second round of the ATP 500 event.

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