Felix Auger-Aliassime credits composure after breaking his duck against Maxime Cressy

Delight for Felix Auger-Aliassime Credit: Alamy
Delight for Felix Auger-Aliassime Credit: Alamy

Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime was relieved that he got past awkward opponent Maxime Cressy at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Auger-Aliassime was unable to make an impact in the Cressy serve when they met at Wimbledon last year.

The Aviation Tennis Club Dubai is a long way from SW19 and the hard court event witnessed Auger-Aliassime getting one back on the serve and volley expert.

The world no 9 was not happy that he dropped the second set of the match but after that loss at Wimbledon he was relieved to finally break Cressy.

“He has not the most common game. But that is why he is difficult to play. You don’t have to face an opponent like him. He is quite unique and that is why I think he got me last time,” said Auger-Aliassime.

“I think I was a bit unprepared and wasn’t able to stay as composed as I did today.

“I was sharp when I needed to. It was unfortunate it had to go three sets, but to be able to break him finally, for the first time since we’ve played together, was good.”

Auger-Aliassime has been in good form of later enjoying a run to the last four in Doha last week before being ousted by eventual champion Danill Medvedev.

Medvedev also had a tough first round assignment against Young Italian.

The former world No 1 extended his winning streak to 10 matches when he cruised past Italian lucky loser Arnaldi 6-4, 6-2.

“It is never easy playing someone you have never seen before,” Medvedev said.

“I actually didn’t know how he plays, if he plays aggressive or defensive. It was kind of in the middle. It was not easy in the beginning, I played better in the second set.

“He is young, he had good results in Challengers. When it is like this you have the potential to be very high, but you never know if it is going to happen, so I can only wish him luck.”

Medvedev will go on to face Kazakhstan’s bad boy Alexander Bublik.

Bublik moved through after Bulgarian qualifier Alexandar Lazarov retired when trailing 1-6, 0-1.

In other action from the early session at the Dubai Tennis Championships, Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp pulled of a stunning upset of sixth seed Karen Khachanov 7-5, 6-2.

Meanwhile, Australian Christopher O’Connell defeated Finn Emil Ruusuvuori 7-5, 6-4 and eighth seed Borna Coric advanced after British hope Daniel Evans retired due to injury at 2-2 in the first set.

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