These two players have already faced each other twice.
Félix Auger-Aliassime won their first match in 2018 on hard court (2-6 6-1 7-5). Aslan Karatsev then took his revenge the following year in indoor (6-4 6-4).
This is the second time in a row that Felix Auger-Aliassime has participated in this Australian Open. He didn’t make it through the first round last year.
This is the first time Aslan Karatsev has played in the final draw of a Grand Slam tournament. Here he is in the 1/8 final with already 247,000 dollars in his pocket and a remarkable entry in the Top 100. Not bad at all.
In this edition
To get there, Felix Auger-Aliassime won over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, James Duckworth and Denis Shapovalov. All this without losing a set.
Aslan Karatsev has also not yet lost a set in this tournament. The Russian defeated Gianluca Mager, Egor Gerasimov and Diego Schwartzman. And with the way please.
But how far can Aslan Karatsev go? The Russian has been performing incredibly well since the beginning of this tournament. Solid on his service games, he especially manages to make the difference in the rallies. Just look at Diego Schwartzman. It was Karatsev who managed to get the Argentine out of his comfort zone by systematically attacking him. We can obviously say that the Russian was often lucky (very good ball lengths that allowed him to flirt with the lines). But I think that the slackening of his current confidence has a lot to do with it.
If Aslan Karatsev manages to keep his level of play, then this new match could well be one of the best matches of these 1/8 finals. I can’t wait!
Felix Auger-Aliassime has a very different profile from Aslan Karatsev’s previous opponents. First of all, the Canadian is more reliable in service. He passes many firsts and knows how to perform many aces. This allows him to concede few opportunities.
Then, in the rallies, Auger-Aliassime hits hard and has a naturally aggressive state of mind. Much more than a Diego Schwartzman who prefers rhythmic rallies before taking initiatives.
I think moreover that the power of Felix Auger-Aliassime could end up annoying the Russian. Indeed, if Aslan Karatsev manages to stifle his opponents and make so many winning moves, it is because he is often the first to take the initiative. He drops everything as soon as he can and that often stays in the court. Nevertheless, I expect the Canadian will also try to attack first to neutralize his opponent’s ardour more quickly.
Felix Auger-Aliassime is the clear favorite in this match. But that doesn’t reassure me. We should not forget that he is still young and that he will only play his second 1/8 final in Grand Slam (after the US Open 2020, defeat against Thiem). He is a man who has shown some mental fever recently. If he is thinking too much and Aslan Karatsev manages to get into his head, then he might be in for a match in 4 or 5 sets. Or, worse yet, packing his bags.
Prediction: Felix Auger-Aliassime wins