After surviving a five-set epic in his opening match at Roland Garros, things proved a little more straightforward for Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round on Wednesday in Paris.
The ninth seed brushed past Argentine qualifier Camilo Ugo Carabelli, 6-0, 6-3, 6-4, to reach the third round in the French capital for the first time.
Auger-Aliassime’s comeback on Sunday against another South American qualifier, Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas, had been a dramatic way for the Canadian to secure his maiden win at the clay-court Grand Slam. In contrast to that battle he rarely looked troubled against the World No. 155 Ugo Carabelli, who was playing just his second tour-level match.
“It was a better start than my first round, for sure,” said Auger-Aliassime in his post-match press conference. “I think that gave me confidence that if I kept going this way and won my service games and stayed aggressive and tried to dominate, I would give myself a good chance to win in straight sets.
“Today there were positives, and there were things that didn’t satisfy me, but in the end, I was able to win all my service games, so that’s already a very good point. Then I won in three straight sets. That’s what I wanted today, and that’s what was most important.”
Ugo Carabelli did not drop a set as he qualified for a Grand Slam main draw for the first time in Paris, an achievement he backed up with a thrilling five-set first-round win over Aslan Karatsev. Despite a stubborn effort from the Argentine, however, he was unable to hurt Auger-Aliassime as the Canadian’s power and variety earned him a convincing victory.
Auger-Aliassime came out strongly to canter to the first set without dropping a game, as Ugo Carabelli struggled to settle and was unable to stem a flow of errors. The World No. 9 was made to work harder in the second, but he continued to find rhythm on his forehand and move forward effectively as a solitary break was enough to move two sets clear.
The third set played out in a similar fashion. Auger-Aliassime’s greater baseline power gave him the edge at key moments, and a break in the third game was enough to complete a two-hour, 15-minute victory. The Canadian struck 41 winners compared to just six from Ugo Carabelli, a reflection of the disparity in firepower between the two players.
Awaiting the Canadian next in Paris is Filip Krajinovic, after the Serbian defeated qualifier Borna Gojo 7-6(5), 6-2, 5-7, 6-1. He will hope to keep his run going as he looks to build on quarter-final appearances at the ATP Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome earlier in May.
“[It is] one match at a time,” said Auger-Aliassime. “In a Grand Slam, there are matches where you play top tennis; other matches where you play not so good. Each time you try to find your way around.”
The World No. 9 is seeking to extend a strong recent record at Grand Slams in Paris. The 21-year-old has reached at least the quarter-finals at the past three majors and reached a maiden Slam semi-final at the US Open last September.