Felix Auger-Aliassime suffered another straight-sets defeat on clay, as he bowed out of the 2021 Madrid Open at the first hurdle.
The Canadian hot-prospect was beaten 1-6, 4-6 by fellow youngster Casper Ruud in the Spanish capital on Tuesday morning.
Auger-Aliassime has now lost four of his last six matches – with all four defeats coming in straight sets.
In fact, if you take away two victories over compatriot and friend Denis Shapovalov, the Canadian has lost his last ten matches against fellow top 50 players. (@AnnaK_4ever on Twitter)
How will Auger-Aliassime react to Madrid loss?
The early months of 2021 promised so much for Auger-Aliassime, but have delivered little since.
The Canadian made the final of the Murray River Open in Melbourne, before reaching the last 16 of the Australian Open without losing a set.
However, defeat to Aslan Karatsev from 2 sets up, seemed to hit the world number 20 hard, and he is yet to fully recover.
The latest loss in Madrid leaves Auger-Aliassime with a lot of thinking to do ahead of the second-half of the clay court season.
At 20, he is still an immense talent. But his 0-7 record in finals (with all 14 sets lost) highlight a mental problem that needs fixing soon.
Otherwise he risks being upstaged by fellow young stars like Ruud, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz.