LONDON (Reuters) – Felix Auger-Aliassime became the highest men’s seed to exit this year’s Wimbledon on Tuesday when serve-and-volley specialist Maxime Cressy sent the Canadian sixth seed packing with a 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(9) 7-6(5) win in the opening round.
Auger-Aliassime, who reached the quarter-finals of the grasscourt Grand Slam last year, failed to find a way to break Cressy’s serve during the marathon contest that lasted four hours and 10 minutes.
“It’s very disappointing, that’s for sure,” he told reporters.
“But I just need to face the reality. The reality is I lost today, and there is nothing I can do anymore, even though of course I had higher ambitions for this tournament.
“But in order to one day win a tournament like this, I need to be able to beat players like today and many different players along the way.”
In a match of fine margins, the American saved the lone opportunity he offered on his serve in the opening set with Auger-Aliassime suffering the only service break during the contest.
The 21-year-old Canadian hit more winners and committed fewer unforced errors than his opponent but still lost.
The 45th-ranked Cressy, who will face qualifier and countryman Jack Sock for a place in the third round, was clearly ahead with his net play — winning 71% of the points when he advanced forward.
“Today was not just a serve-and-volley,” said Auger-Aliassime. “His serve was amazing. He took his chances when he needed to in important points.”
“He was courageous, more than me, so he’s deserving.”
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by Ken Ferris)