Auger-Aliassime reaches 1st Masters level quarter-finals in Miami

Canadian teen Felix Auger-Aliassime is off to the quarter-finals at the Miami Open.

The 18-year-old from Montreal, who had to win two qualifying matches just to get into the ATP Tour Masters 1000 event, upset No. 17 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 7-6 (4), 6-4 in a fourth-round match on Tuesday.

Auger-Aliassime, ranked 57th in the world, becomes just the second qualifier in the last 20 years to reach the Miami quarterfinals. Argentina’s Guillermo Canas was the other, advancing to the final in 2007.

The Canadian’s days of having to qualify for tournaments will come to an end shortly, now that his ranking has improved. Entry deadlines for tournaments are weeks before events begin — and Auger-Aliassime’s ranking wasn’t good enough at the Miami cutoff to get him direct entry.

Auger-Aliassime is guaranteed to move up to at least 41st next week with his latest victory. He is the first player born in the 2000s to reach the top 50.

Auger-Aliassime will play the winner of a match between No. 11 seed Borna Coric of Croatia and No. 27 seed Nick Kyrgios of Australia in the quarter-finals.

Key tiebreak win

The hard-hitting Basilashvili dominated much of the first set against Auger-Aliassime and finally got a break to go up 6-5. But Auger-Aliassime battled back and converted his lone break-point opportunity of the first set to tie it at 6-6.

In the tiebreak, two straight aces by Auger-Aliassime and an ensuing double fault by Basilashvili put the Canadian on top for good.

Auger-Aliassime broke Basilashvili twice in the second set, allowing him to win on serve in the final game.

No. 20 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., was scheduled to play No. 8 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in a fourth-round match later Tuesday. Auger-Aliassime upset Tsitsipas in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., last week.

Shapovalov and India’s Rohan Bopanna will play a men’s doubles quarter-final against twin brothers Mike and Bob Bryan of the United States on Wednesday.

The fifth-seeded women’s doubles team of Gabriela Dabrowski of Ottawa and Yifan Xu of China also has reached the quarter-finals.