In a dominant display, the Canadian fired 23 winners and won 90 per cent (35/39) of his first-serve points to set up a semi-final meeting with #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti at the UniCredit Firenze Open.
“I am very pleased with my level,” Auger-Aliassime said in his on-court interview. “It was a great two sets of tennis. I think I served well. I could have been better on the second serve, he was winning a lot of points. I had to stay very focused until the end because you never know, matches can change quickly.”
With his 89-minute victory, Auger-Aliassime has climbed one place to seventh in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, moving past American Taylor Fritz, who lifted the trophy in Tokyo last week.
“There is still a lot of work to do to qualify for Turin,” Auger-Aliassime said. “The race is still very close, very tight. I am going to try my best to go all the way this week. But tomorrow already it will be another tough opponent. It won’t be easy to win any match. But with the way I am playing now I have more chances of qualifying [for the Nitto ATP Finals].”
The 22-year-old is aiming to make his debut at the prestigious end-of-year event, to be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 13-20 November. Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic have all already qualified.
The top seed has now advanced to five tour-level semi-finals this season following his 42nd tour-level win of the year. Auger-Aliassime, who defeated Oscar Otte in his opening match at the ATP 250 event in Italy, lifted his maiden tour-level trophy on hard in Rotterdam in February.
Nakashima leaves Florence in sixth place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Milan. The 21-year-old is looking to qualify for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals for the second consecutive season after reaching the semi-finals last year.