By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) – Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime became the youngest player in 20 years to reach the semi-finals of the Queen’s Club championships as he dispatched top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas with consummate ease on Friday.
The 18-year-old was cool, calm and collected throughout the contest on a sunlit centre court as he claimed a 7-5 6-2 victory and emulate Lleyton Hewitt who made the semis in 1999, aged 18.
Considering it was his third match in 24 hours after rain delays earlier in the week, Auger-Aliassime looked as fresh as a daisy against world number six Tsitsipas who lacked spark after a similarly busy schedule on Thursday.
The Canadian was forced to save a couple of break points in a tight first set but pounced in the 12th game to reach 15-40 on the Tsitsipas serve and took his second set point with a heavy forehand that the Greek could not handle.
Auger-Aliassime, who has bounded up the rankings to 21 this year, dominated thereafter as a weary-looking Tsitsipas, who required some treatment on his shoulder, faded fast.
“I had zero expectations coming here, but I’ve managed to handle my nerves and keep my serve all the time,” he said.
The eighth seed could face compatriot Milos Raonic in the semi-finals if he overcomes Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez.
In the other side of the draw fourth seed Daniil Medvedev became the first Russian to reach the semi-finals at the tournament in the professional era as he had too much firepower for Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.
Medvedev, 23, will play either Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut or Gilles Simon for a place in the final.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)