Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime advances to Cologne Championship semifinal

COLOGNE, Germany — Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime has advanced to the semifinals of the Cologne Championship hardcourt tennis tournament.

The fifth-seeded Auger-Aliassime beat Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3, 6-4 Friday to move on to his second final four in Cologne in as many weeks. The German city is hosting back-to-back ATP competitions that were added to the pandemic-disrupted schedule.

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Friday's win was a measure of revenge for Auger-Aliassime, who was fell to Nishioka in the first round of the French Open last month.

"I wanted to try a few things against him, mix up the speeds, the rhythm, play higher, play faster," Auger-Aliassime said. "I tried to play with that today and the outcome was good and that's positive. I showed I could adapt from my past losses.

"I could not ask for a better outcome."

Auger-Aliassime will face second-seeded Diego Schwartzman in Saturday's semifinals. Schwartzman trailed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 2-6, 2-5 but fought back to win 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1 earlier Friday.

It will be the first ATP Tour meeting between the 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime, ranked 22nd in the world, and world No. 9 Schwartzman.

"I don't know him that well, maybe (I'll) watch a few videos in the morning," Auger-Aliassime said about preparing for his next match.

Auger-Aliassime fired 11 aces in Friday's match and broke Nishioka four times on 10 chances. The Canadian saved four of the six break points he faced.

In other results, top-seeded Alexander Zverev defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4.

Zverev, who beat Auger-Aliassime in last week's final in Cologne, missed the chance to settle the match when he served at 5-3 in the second set, but eventually prevailed after 2 hours, 40 minutes.

Zverev next faces Italian wild card Jannik Sinner, who recovered after losing eight games in a row to upset Gilles Simon 6-3, 0-6, 6-4. Sinner was 0-2 down in the deciding set.

-- With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first publishedOct. 23, 2020.

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