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Basilashvili vs Auger-Aliassime ATP Lyon live streaming, preview and tips - Can Auger-Aliassime reach second ATP final of 2019?

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 24 May 2019
  • Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Felix Auger-Aliassime is live from Lyon around 4.30pm local time on Friday (3.30pm BST)
  • Auger-Aliassime won their only previous clash in Miami earlier this season
Felix Auger-Aliassime (PA Images)

Top seed Nikoloz Basilashvili takes on rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime as the pair battle it out for a place in the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon final on Friday.

We’ve got a great match-up coming up at the ATP 250 Lyon Open on Friday as top seed Nikoloz Basilashvili comes up against fourth seed and teenage sensation Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semi-finals.

After rising into the top 20 on the back of a stellar 2018 season, Basilashvili hasn’t been playing great tennis so far in 2019, but the Georgian is back into a semi-final for the first time since October in Lyon this week. The top seed at an ATP event for the first time, Basilashvili opened his campaign with a 7-5 7-5 win over Tristan Lamasine before avenging a 2017 semi-final defeat to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Thursday’s quarter-finals, beating the Frenchman 6-4 6-4 in 82 minutes to reach the final four.

I’m not going to say out from of nowhere, because Basilashvili had been steadily making progress before last year, but it was still a surprise when he won two 500-level titles in 2018, prevailing on the clay of Hamburg and the indoor hardcourts of Beijing, with the 1000 combined points from those victories making up over half of his current ranking total and heavily contributing to him reaching a current career-high mark of No. 16. Basilasvhili also made the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time at the U.S. Open last year and was the first Georgian to win an ATP title when he secured those aforementioned trophies in Beijing and Hamburg.

It was always going to be tough for Basilasvhili to replicate that form in 2019, and so far he hasn’t been up to par, registering a 12-11 record before arriving in Geneva, with his best results including quarter-finals in Doha, Dubai and Budapest, a third round at the Australian Open and a R16 finish at the Miami Masters. Basilashvili lost to his Lyon semi-final rival in that Miami fourth round - can he turn the tables on Friday?


Auger-Aliassime, arguably THE brightest young prospect in men’s tennis at just 18 years of age, has put together a seismic rise into the world’s top 30 this season and is seeded No. 25 at next week’s French Open, where incredibly he will be making his debut in the main draw, with his only previous Grand Slam experience coming last year at the U.S. Open, where after qualifying, he was unfortunately forced to retire in the opening round against close friend Denis Shapovalov. Ranked well outside the top 100 at that moment, who would have thought that Auger-Aliassime would currently be just one spot behind Shapovalov in the live ATP rankings at No. 24 - and if he can make the Lyon final, he will move up to No. 22.

The Canadian didn’t have an encouraging start to 2019 as he lost in the first round of Pune and in the opening round of the Rennes Challenger to a player ranked No. 484 in the world, but something clicked on the South American clay, with Auger-Aliassime earning his first win of the season over Fabio Fognini in Rio de Janeiro before becoming the youngest ATP 500 finalist in history as he finished runner-up to Laslo Djere. Auger-Aliassime went on to claim his first top 10 scalp over Stefanos Tsitsipas in Indian Wells and became the youngest Miami Open semi-finalist in 35 years, beating Basilashvili and Borna Coric along the way but ultimately succumbing to John Isner after serving for both sets. Auger-Aliassime didn’t win back-to-back matches on clay until this week, but he did beat Shapovalov in Madrid, before going down to Rafael Nadal.

As mentioned, Auger-Aliassime leads the H2H with Basilashvili 1-0 after winning in Miami earlier this season, and I think he’s ready to do it again. The 18-year-old enjoys playing on clay, winning a couple of Challengers in Lyon early in his career, along with obviously reaching the Rio Open final, and has played some great tennis to beat John Millman and Steve Johnson already this week. Basilashvili is a flashy and stylish shotmaker on his day, but already I think Auger-Aliassime is the more steadier of the pair, and if he doesn’t get nervous in the business end of sets (which has happened a fair bit this season), I think he can reach a second ATP final on Friday.


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Basilashvili vs Auger-Aliassime ATP Lyon live streaming, preview and tips - Can Auger-Aliassime reach second ATP final of 2019?

Top seed Nikoloz Basilashvili takes on rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime as the pair battle it out for a place in the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon final on Friday.

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