LONDON: Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime claimed the scalp of Greek top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas at Queen’s on Friday with an impressive 7-5, 6-2 victory.
At 18, Auger-Aliassime becomes the youngest Queen’s semi-finalist since Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt at the same age in 1999.
The Canadian may have been seeded lower but he owns a perfect record against Tsitsipas with three victories as a junior and now two on the ATP Tour.
Tsitsipas was not helped by a painful right shoulder – which required on-court treatment — after two falls in the final game of the first set.
Auger-Aliassime will play either his more experienced compatriot Milos Raonic or 37-year-old veteran Feliciano Lopez in Saturday’s semi-finals.
He laughed when asked if had been thinking about Boris Becker who won Queen’s at 18 in 1985 and then won Wimbledon a few weeks later.
“Not really,” he said.
“Honestly I had few expectations coming here but I have handled my nerves and I don’t want to think too far ahead,” added the eighth seed.
Auger-Aliassime and Tsitsipas contested a hard-fought first set before the young Canadian took it 7-5 breaking the Greek’s serve in a game that saw the top seed hit the grass twice.
Auger-Aliassime raced into a 3-0 lead in the second with his opponent unusually listless and struggling at the changeover he received treatment by a medic, who rubbed cream ia painful right shoulder – his playing arm.
Earlier Russia’s Daniil Medvedev became the first Russian to reach the last four at Queen’s in the open era as he outplayed Argentina’s Diego Schwartzmann, the fourth seed running out a 6-2, 6-2 winner.
Schwartzmann’s hopes of repeating his impressive win over defending champion Marin Cilic in the second round were quickly doused by Medvedev, who broke in the first game of the match and then in the fifth and then did the same again in the second.