Rafael Nadal will survive in the top-10 for another week. A 22-time Major champion could end his incredible top-10 journey next Monday, but it will not come yet. Felix Auger-Aliassime, Holger Rune and Hubert Hurkacz had to pass Rafa with good results this week to send him out from the top-10 for the first time since 2005, but that did not happen.
Felix needed the quarter-final in Dubai and fell to Lorenzo Sonego in the second round. The Italian beat the Canadian 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 55 minutes for his fifth top-10 victory and a place in the quarter-final. Felix served at 49% and plagued his chances after getting broken once in the second set.
Lorenzo lost eight points behind the initial shot and kept the rival away from break chances. The Italian claimed the opener in the tie break and clinched the second with a single break that carried him over the top. Sonego hit 23 winners and 19 unforced errors and built the advantage in the mid-range exchanges up to four strokes.
Rafael Nadal will remain in the top-10 on Monday.
The servers were too good in the opener, producing 12 comfortable holds to introduce a tie break. Felix served to stay in the set at 4-5 and came from 30-15 down to level the score after a service winner.
Lorenzo closed the 11th game with an unreturned serve, and Auger-Aliassime brought the 12th game home at 15 to set a tie break. Felix netted a forehand in the second point to find himself 2-0 behind, and Lorenzo moved 4-1 up with a service winner.
The Canadian won the following two points on his serve before the Italian landed a beautiful volley winner for 5-3. Sonego missed a backhand in the ninth point and brought the rival back to the positive side. However, Felix asked for a wrong challenge in the tenth point and experienced two set points.
Lorenzo needed only one, landing a deep return and forcing the opponent’s error to wrap up the opener and gain a boost. The Italian barely lost a point behind the initial shot in the second set, and the Canadian failed to follow that pace and secure another tie break.
Felix saved a break point at 1-1 and squandered game chances at 3-3. Lorenzo grabbed a break following Auger-Aliassime’s costly double fault and moved 4-3 ahead. Sonego cracked a forehand down the line winner in the eighth game for 5-3 and held at 15 in game ten to emerge at the top and move into the quarter-final.
Leave a Reply