These two men have already faced each other twice in 2019.
It was at the Masters 1000 in Miami (hard) and the ATP 250 in Lyon (clay). Félix Auger-Aliassime won these two matches. Note that he lost a set in two matches (in Lyon), and that there was one tie-break per match.
You should know this tournament isn’t being played in Cincinnati. It’s being played in Flushing Meadows. The playing conditions are therefore quite different from previous years.
Nikoloz Basilashvili has already participated 3 times in this Masters 1000: in 2016, 2017 and last year. He only managed once to get through the first round (in 2017) to reach the 1/8 finals. In 2019, he was defeated at the beginning by Andrey Rublev (in 3 sets including a tiebreaker which he won).
Félix Auger-Aliassime will play this tournament in Cincinnati for the second year in a row. In 2019, Miomir Kecmanovic didn’t let him pass the first round (a 6-3 6-3 loss).
Nikoloz Basilashvili, this unstable genius, is going to match Felix Auger-Aliassime, this talented pianist.
Nikoloz Basilashvili hasn’t really been in the loop for a few months now. He has won only 5 of his last 15 matches (counting his 2 defeats in exhibition a little less than a month ago). Without forgetting that he doesn’t offer an incredible level of play. All this to say that he will present himself in this Masters 1000 in Cincinnati with little confidence. And that’s exactly what he lacks to be able to spread his wings properly.
Félix Auger-Aliassime is still young (20 years old) and that could play against him in this 1st round. But what he has been proposing since the beginning of the season pleases me much more (forgetting the Australian tour of course). He drops convincing serves, and manages to play an offensive game capable of turning the head of many opponents. I also like his technique, which allows him to react to many complicated situations, whether it be when he has to counter or at the net.
Félix Auger-Aliassime is a complete player who is beginning to understand that he can beat the best (or almost). He has, in my opinion, all the qualities required to win against this Nikoloz Basilashvili here.
The Canadian nugget will still have to be careful. The Georgian could take advantage of his experience to destabilize him. A disturbed Felix is a diminished Felix.
Prediction: Felix Auger-Aliassime wins