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Auger-Aliassime faces another early loss; this time on clay in Marrakech

The young Canadian held two match points but was unable to get past Slovak Alex Molcan in the second round of the ATP 250 event

Felix Auger-Aliassime walks off the court after his second round men's singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Felix Auger-Aliassime walks off the court after his second round men’s singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime suffered another early exit – this time in the second round of the ATP  Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech.

The 21-year-old had two match points late in the third set but was unable to put away Slovak Alex Molcan.

Molcan, the world No 65, saved one match point at 5-6 in the third set and the second one at 6-7 in the deciding tie-break, before coming through 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(7) in two hours and 39 minutes. This was the biggest win of the Slovak’s career.

The 24-year-old will next meet Botic van de Zandschulp, who scored a 6-2, 6-4 win over Czech qualifier Vit Kopriva, for a place in the semi-finals.

Auger-Aliassime has won only one match in his last three events

Thursday’s loss continues a poor run of form in recent weeks for Auger-Aliassime, who began the year by reaching the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, winning his first career singles title at Rotterdam and reaching the final in Marseille.

However, the Canadian, who has been working with Toni Nadal since last year, lost his opening matches at both Indian Wells and Miami where he was expected to do well on the hardcourt stretch.

Auger-Aliassime will have a chance to regain some lost ground over the coming weeks. In 2021, he lost his opening matches in Monte-Carlo, Madrid and the French Open, and the fourth-round of the Rome Masters.

In other notable matches at the ATP 250 event, Belgium’s David Goffin scored his milestone 300th career win, beating Spain’s Pablo Andujar 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3 to advance to the quarter-finals.

French veteran Richard Gasquet also reached the last eight, with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over qualifier Pavel Kotov.

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