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Dream run! Dutchman Van Rijthoven shocks Auger-Aliassime to set ‘s-Hertogenbosh final with Medvedev
Tim van Rijthoven edged out Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 1-6, 7-6  on Saturday afternoon to reach his maiden ATP final.
Dutchman wildcard Tim van Rijthoven had never won an ATP-level match prior to this week at ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Four victories later he is into his first final.
He will face Russia’s Daniil Medvedev – the soon to be world No 1 defeated Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 7-5 to reach his 24th ATP final.
While Medvedev’s trip to the final was expected, nobody saw Van Rijthoven coming. He edged out Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, the second seed, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6  on Saturday to move into his first final in his just his second ATP main draw – and first since 2016.
25-year-old Rijthoven, ranked No 205, is the first man from his country to reach the final at the Libema Open since 2009. Along the way he defeated Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden (7-6 , 7-6 ), American Taylor Harry Fritz, the No 3 seed (6-7 , 7-5, 6-4) and Frenchman Hugo Gaston (7-6 , 6-4), prior to his first ever top-10 win on Saturday.
Van Rijthoven: I was just happy to play one or two matches
Having never played an ATP match before, the Dutchman was just thrilled to have a wild card into the main draw.
“I got the wildcard here, which was already a surprise for me,” he said. “And I was just happy to play one or two matches at least. And I mean to be in the finals, it is just incredible and I have no words.”
The world No 205 finished with 10 aces and won 19 of 24 second-serve points. In the third set he never faced a break point, but could not manage to convert any of his six break points. He ended up closing the contest in a tiebreak, converting his third match point.
“We both served very well, he said. “First, when I broke him, I just made him play a lot on his serve and I just made him make the mistakes. That’s why I broke him, and I just served out the set.
“Second set, I was thinking a little bit of course, ‘If a witness said I’ll be in the finals of an ATP event,’ which I’ve never even played before in a main draw. So that was quite intense and then in the third set, it was just everything back to zero and just go.”