Sarah-Jade Champagne/Tennis Canada
After needing nine tries to capture the maiden ATP crown of his career in Rotterdam this winter, Félix Auger-Aliassime has collected his second title in just eight months after his first at the UniCredit Firenze Open in Florence, Italy, an ATP 250 event.
In Sunday’s final, the 22-year-old was too much for American J.J. Wolf, ranked no. 75 in the world, en route to a comfortable 6-4, 6-4 victory. As was the case in the semifinals, he was dominant on serve and utilized deep groundstrokes off both wings to gain the advantage in many of the rallies. The two players exchanged breaks to open the match and then Auger-Aliassime won a second consecutive return game to take the lead and eventually win the first set. In his first return game of set two, he had break point chances, but Wolf stood tall. The Canadian continued to be the aggressor and managed to break midway through the frame to seal the deal thanks to a serve that was firing on all cylinders from start to finish. As for Wolf, he acquitted himself well during his first appearance in an ATP final.
“I’m really happy, it never gets old winning, it always feels like the first time it’s so special,” Auger-Aliassime said during his on-court interview after the match. “I’m really happy because I came here, the first seed, I was the favourite in all my matches on paper, it’s never an easy position so to come out and win my four matches with confidence and conviction, it’s really good for my confidence.”
With his second triumph of the season and second indoors in the eleventh final of his career, Auger-Aliassime further solidifies his positioning for the ATP Finals in Turin next month. He is currently among the elite eight for the year-end tournament and will look to continue his win streak this week at European Open, another ATP 250 event in Antwerp, Belgium. He’s seeded second in the draw behind Hubert Hurkacz and will benefit from an opening round bye.
Auger-Aliassime will return to the Top 10 in the ATP rankings when he climbs to world no. 10 on Monday.