Photo: Rolex Paris Masters
Félix Auger-Aliassime is an ATP Tour champion at long last – in doubles!
After a dominant Rolex Paris Masters opener against a pair of French wild cards, the Canadian-Polish duo had their backs against the wall in four consecutive match-ups against seeded doubles teams. Each of those four matches went the distance, with Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz using their combined singles prowess to edge ahead in the key moments of each match.
A surprise second-round upset over top seeds Robert Farah and Horacio Zeballos was a confidence boost for Team “Hubelix,” who had played together just once before earlier this year. Their momentum continued with a quarter-final victory over No. 7 seeds John Peers and Michael Venus, edging out a 11-9 win in the match tiebreak after recovering from a set down.
Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz’s semi-final was a seesaw clash against two former Grand Slam champions in Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, but again their chemistry on-court – aided by massive service deliveries from both – allowed them to prevail and reach the biggest doubles final of their career.
Although Auger-Aliassime, ranked 21 in singles, has been unsuccessful so far in singles finals at the ATP Tour level (he has gone 0-6 since reaching his first tour final in February 2019), his first attempt at a top-level doubles final would finally yield a champion’s result.
After nearly two hours of high-quality, hard-fought doubles, the Montreal native and partner Hurkacz – No. 34 in ATP singles – emerged victorious, scoring a 6-7(3), 7-6(7), [10-2] victory to raise the trophy. The duo saved a total of five match points in the second set, largely due to untimely miscuses from No. 2 seeds Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares, and ran away with the match tiebreak with several admittedly lucky line-clipping winners.
Luck hadn’t been on Auger-Aliassime’s side in his singles finals, but order was certainly restored today in doubles. The Canadian will look to take his winning momentum into his final tour-level event of the season at the Sofia Open in Bulgaria, where he’s seeded No. 2 in singles (though not playing doubles).