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Finally Felix! Auger-Aliassime downs Tsitsipas for first ATP Tour title – at the ninth attempt

The Canadian finally got his name on a winner’s trophy with a brilliant performance to deny Tsitsipas a first ATP 500 title

Felix Auger-Aliassime Rotterdam trophy AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Good things come to those who wait.

After eight finals and eight defeats, Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime finally got his name on a trophy as he outplayed world No 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2 to win the ABN/AMRO World Indoor Tournament in Rotterdam.

The world No 9 broke in the first game of both sets as he clinched a victory that he celebrated with a gutteral roar, a leap into the air and a big fist pump, before speaking to his father in a video call by the side of the court.

“It’s not been the smoothest road since I reached my first final three years ago,” Auger-Aliassime said. “It’s an amazing day for me to get this first title. It’s the happiest day of my career and hopefully the first of many to come.”

Auger-Aliassime had not even won a set in his eight finals going into Sunday’s clash with Tsitsipas.

Auger-Aliassime’s past final defeats

  • 2019: Rio de Janeiro, Stuttgart, Lyon
  • 2020: Rotterdam, Marseille, Cologne
  • 2021: Melbourne 2, Stuttgart

But in the past year he has grown in confidence, reaching the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, semi-finals at the US Open and quarter-finals at the Australian Open.

And right from the start it was clear he meant business as he broke in the first game. Auger-Alliassime served brilliantly, dropping just two points on serve as he maintained his advantage to take the opening set.

Tsitsipas would have been looking for a fast start to the second set but again Auger-Aliassime struck, breaking the Greek to love and extending his lead to 2-0.

World No 4 Tsitsipas, in his first final since Roland-Garros last summer, saved two break points to get on the board at 1-2 but a second break for 4-1 gave Auger-Aliassime some breathing space and he served out to love as Tsitsipas’ forehand landed wide.

The Greek’s quest for an ATP 500 title goes on; he’s now 0-8 in ATP 500 finals.

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