Auger-Aliassime stretch forehand

Photo: ATP Tour

Félix Auger-Aliassime put on a serving clinic, highlighted by 22 aces and winning 85 percent of his first serve points, to defeat French veteran Richard Gasquet in two tiebreak sets of 7-6(2), 7-6(3) to reach his second final in as many weeks on Saturday at the European Open in Antwerp, Belgium, an ATP 250 event.

During the high-quality semifinal, which marked the first meeting between Auger-Aliassime and Gasquet, neither player managed to earn a break point opportunity until the 22-year-old Canadian had one at 5-5 in the second set, but the Frenchman swiped it away with an effective serve. Despite the missed opportunity, Auger-Aliassime pushed forward and went on to dominate the tiebreak to secure the victory in straight sets after just over two hours of play.

“It was the most difficult match this week so far,” said the tournament’s second seed after the contest. “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.”

On Sunday, Auger-Aliassime will contest the 12th ATP final of his career after capturing his second title last week in Florence. He will attempt to win his third trophy of both the season and his career when he takes on American Sebastian Korda in the championship match. Korda will also be competing in his second consecutive final after defeating Dominic Thiem in Saturday’s first semifinal. Auger-Aliassime will also be looking to extend his win streak to eight matches and further solidify his seventh-place position in the Race for Turin as he attempts to qualify for his ATP Finals debut. He has split his two previous meetings with Korda, earning a victory over the American on the outdoor hard courts of Acapulco last year.