Auger-Aliassime breaks final jinx; defeats Tsitsipas for Rotterdam title
Rotterdam (Netherlands) : Canadian 21-year-old tennis player Felix Auger-Aliassime, competing in his ninth tour-level final, finally broke the jinx, winning his maiden ATP Tour title at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament by defeating Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2 in 78 minutes to win in Rotterdam.World No.9 Auger-Aliassime, who defeated Russian Andrey Rublev in three sets to reach the final at the ATP 500 event, was relentless from the start against the Greek world No. 4. The Canadian slammed aggressive groundstrokes and targeted the Tsitsipas’s backhand from the baseline to great effect to earn the biggest win of his career.”It has not been the smoothest road since my first final three years ago,” Auger-Aliassime was quoted as saying by atptour.com after the in. “It is an amazing day for me to get my first title and especially here. I played my first ATP main draw here a couple of years ago, so it is right I won my first title here.”Prior to his title clash with Tsitsipas, Auger-Aliassime held a 0-8 record in tour-level finals and had not won a set in any of those matches.However, following title match defeats in Melbourne and Stuttgart last season, Auger-Aliassime had showed signs he was close to crossing the threshold.
The world No. 9 helped guide Canada to the multi-nation ATP Cup title in January in Australia, before he reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, where he pushed Russian world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev to five sets.With the win, Auger-Aliassime has reduced his head-to-head deficit against Tsitsipas to 3-5. It is the first time the third seed has defeated the world No. 4 since 2019, when he downed the 23-year-old on grass at The Queen’s Club. With his victory, Auger-Aliassime has also gained revenge for his defeat to Tsitsipas in the final in Marseille in 2020.”I have a lot of good memories playing here in front of you, so thank you for making it a special week for me that I will remember for the rest of my life,” Auger-Aliassime said. “It is the happiest day of my career and hopefully it is the first of many to come.”Tsitsipas was aiming to clinch his eighth tour-level title on Sunday, but first since May, when he lifted the trophy in Lyon. The World No. 4 has still yet to win an ATP 500 crown though.”He played a really good match, producing really good shots and serving well the whole match,” Tsitsipas said. “I wasn’t able to serve well at all today. He played very well.”