Beaten by Casper Ruud in the first game when he is participating for the first time in the Masters, Felix Auger-Aliassime recovered on Tuesday at the expense of a Rafael Nadal still too short to be able to break the beautiful dynamic of the young Canadian, who holds there his first victory (6-3, 6-4) in the competition. The Spaniard has a foot and a half outside.
The door is not very far for Rafael Nadal. For the first time since 2009, the Spaniard has lost both matches in the Masters. Already beaten by Taylor Fritz for his debut in the competition, two days earlier, the finalist of the tournament in 2013 lost again, Wednesday in Turin against one of the strong men of this end of season Felix Auger-Aliassime. The worst thing for Nadal is that he was still unable to win a set. The Mallorcan, who has never yet entered his name on the winners of this Masters Tournament, is therefore very close to the exit before even playing his third match, Thursday against Casper Ruud. At 36, here is Carlos Moya’s protege forced to give up, almost definitively, his dreams of victory in this meeting which never succeeded. The proof again this week on the Alpitour court, where Nadal, logically last of the green group, is still at a standstill. Auger-Aliassime was too after his first match, lost against Ruud. The Canadian, who is participating for the first time in the Masters, offered his first success by dominating on a regular basis (6-3, 6-4) a Nadal who definitely had a hard time finishing the year.
Auger-Aliassime well helped by his serve
The world number 2 nevertheless benefited from several opportunities in this part to thwart the plans of his young opponent, determined not to wait any longer to taste a first victory. For this, the winner of the Florence, Antwerp and Basel tournaments (he had stopped in the semi-finals at Bercy, on the eve of a fourth consecutive title) was able to count on his serve, which is still just as efficient and which released the 6th in the world from unfortunate situations on several occasions, such as the 22-year-old’s ever more impressive ability to be decisive on the most important points. A recipe that has caused the man with 22 Grand Slam titles to fall for the second time in a row, currently far too fair physically to compete with the best. The last time Nadal lost his first two games, he also lost the third. Until he leaves Turin empty-handed also this week, there may be only one step.