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Andy Murray Has A Rest Day Today • Thursday He Plays Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime At The 2020 U.S.Open Tennis

By Ricky Dimon

Andy Murray and Felix Auger-Aliassime will be in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the same time on Thursday.

That’s happened before, too…just in a much, much different kind of situation.

Back in 2011, Andy Murray was the No. 4 player in the world and on his way to a semifinal appearance at the U.S. Open. Auger-Aliassime was an 11-year-old fan. The youngster had tickets for Labor Day Weekend and watched Murray win a night-session match on the main court against Feliciano Lopez.

“I was just a kid.” Auger-Aliassime remembered. “We got tickets for the US Open center court, Arthur Ashe Stadium. Andy was playing Lopez (in a) night match. I got to see him there in the third round. That was a big memory of mine. It’s crazy [that now] there’s not going to be a kid in the stadium watching, it’s actually going to be me playing. Yeah, it’s a nice feeling.”

For a long time on Tuesday it looked like the world No. 21 would be facing Yoshihito Nishioka–not Murray–in the second round. Nishioka led Murray two sets to love and eventually had a match point in the fourth set, but the three-time Grand Slam champion clawed his way back for an amazing 4-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(4), 6-4 victory.

“Of course he’s a great champion,” Auger-Aliassime continued. “I’ll be expecting the best from him next match. I don’t want to put into my head or consider that because of the injuries or because of the surgeries he’s had, the comeback he’s made, that this puts me in an advantage or makes a difference on the outcome of the match. I’m going to prepare myself for a battle…. Obviously we’re all glad I think to see him back. I watched the whole way of his recovery. It’s good to see him playing good again and healthy. It’s an honor for me to face up with a guy like Andy.”

The No. 15 seed survived a thriller of his own on Tuesday. He saved match points in both the second and third sets to outlast Thiago Monteiro 6-3, 6-7(7), 7-6(6), 7-6(7).

Murray offered high praise for his upcoming opponent, as well.

“He hits a big ball; he moves well. I hit with him once only in Beijing last year. I think that was the only time I’d hit with him…. He’s getting up to the top of the game. He’s a top, top young player. He’ll have an excellent, excellent career for sure. He’s been really good since he was very young. Yeah, he’s developed fast.”

From an 11-year-old fan to the tournament’s No. 15 seed in just nine years, Yep, that’s fast.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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