Felix Serves Into Second Straight ATP Tour Final In Antwerp
Canadian faces Korda in bid for back-to-back tour-level titles
Felix Auger-Aliassime did not create a break point on Saturday against Richard Gasquet, but still progressed to his second ATP Tour final in as many weeks by dominating two tie-breaks in a 7-6(2), 7-6(3) win at the European Open.
After claiming his second tour-level title last week in Florence, Auger-Aliassime will face Sebastian Korda on Sunday in Antwerp as he contests his 12th tour-level final. He will seek to extend his winning streak to eight matches and further solidify his seventh-place position in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin as he chases his Nitto ATP Finals debut.
“It was the most difficult match this week so far,” said the second seed, who came from set down to defeat Daniel Evans in the quarter-finals. “If I didn’t serve the way I did it would have been really tough to win. My serve helped me tremendously to get through my service games easily and then, after, giving myself chances.
“But he was playing really good. He’s still playing so well after so many years on the Tour. All credits to him for pushing… He’s been a great leader in our sport and a great example.”
In a high-level and fast-paced semi-final, neither man saw a break point until Gasquet earned a look at 5-5 in the second set. But Auger-Aliassime was up to the task as he powered through to hold and then commanded the second tie-break to seal victory.
Firing 22 aces and winning 85 per cent (44/52) of his first-serve points, the Canadian built early leads in both tie-breaks, buoyed by confidence from his serving success. He raced to a 5/0 lead in the first-set tie-break and led 3/1 in the second tie-break, staying perfect on serve in both against the veteran Frenchman.
Auger-Aliassime will seek to win his third tour-level trophy of both this season and his career on Sunday following triumphs in Rotterdam and Florence.