Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime made history at the Miami Open on Wednesday night.
The Montreal teenager became the youngest semifinalist in the 34-year history of the event with a 7-6 (3), 6-2 win over 11th seeded Borna Coric of Croatia.
The 18-year-old is the second qualifier to make the semis of the Miami Open, after Guillermo Canas of Argentina accomplished the feat in 2007.
He will face American John Isner, ranked ninth in the world, on Friday.
He might not be the only Canadian teenager in the men’s semi-finals.
Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., faces France’s Frances Tiafoe on Thursday in their quarter-final matchup.
It’s the first time two teens have been in the quarter-finals of any ATP Tour Masters 1000 event since 2007. It’s also the first time since 2013 that two Canadians have reached the quarter-finals or better in a Masters 1000 event – Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil did it at the Rogers Cup that year.
Shapovalov and India’s Rohan Bopanna lost in the men’s doubles quarter-final against American twins Bob and Mike Bryan, the No. 3 seeds, 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday night.
The fifth-seeded women’s doubles team of Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and Yifan Xu of China lost to Victoria Elise Mertens of Belgium and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 6-2, 6-2 in their quarter-final.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer will face a hectic few days if he’s going to win another Miami Open.
He’s off to a good start.
Federer is through to the quarter-finals, having little trouble on the way to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over 13th-seeded Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday – needing only 61 minutes to prevail in a match in which he committed a mere eight unforced errors. The match was supposed to be Tuesday and was pushed back a day because of rain.
So now, to win what would be his fourth Miami title, Federer will have to prevail four times in a five-day span. Next up for the No. 4 seed is a quarter-final on Thursday against No. 6 seed Kevin Anderson – a match between the two highest seeds left on the men’s side, and the biggest test yet for Anderson since his return from an elbow issue.
“I’m feeling really good,” Federer said. “Today’s match I can be really happy with, so I hope it’s going to give me some confidence for tomorrow.”
Federer and Medvedev split the first eight games, and then things turned quickly. Federer broke Medvedev for a 5-4 lead in the first set, fought off three break points to close out the set in the next game and got another break to open the second set. He cruised home from there.
Canada’s Denis Shapovalov worked the late-night shift to reach the quarter-final. The 19-year-old left-hander beat 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) in a fourth-round match that started after a two-hour rain delay and ended shortly after 1:30 Wednesday morning.
Shapovalov beat a top-10 opponent for the second time in his career. He’ll next play No. 28-seeded Frances Tiafoe. The 21-year-old American eliminated Belgium’s David Goffin with a 7-5, 7-6 (6) win on Tuesday night.
John Isner of the United States beat Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5) in an afternoon quarter-final.
Meanwhile, second-seeded Simona Halep also finished her match Wednesday with a flourish.
And a return to the world’s No. 1 ranking could be her reward.
Halep beat 18th-seeded Qiang Wang 6-4, 7-5 in the quarter-final. Halep won the final six games against Qiang and would return to No. 1 in the world if she wins her semi-final match against either fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova or unseeded Marketa Vondrousova. Pliskova and Vondrousova played later Wednesday in an all-Czech Republic quarter-final.
“I just found out from my coach that I need one more match to be No. 1 again,” Halep said. “It’s pretty much in my head and I’m happy that I’m in this position again.”
Halep has been No. 1 twice before, including most of 2018. She surrendered the ranking to Naomi Osaka in January, and didn’t think she would have a chance to grab it back again this quickly.