Photo: ATP Tour
It took 17 matches and more than a month, but someone finally halted Félix Auger-Aliassime’s win streak.
Fittingly, that player is Denmark’s Holger Rune, arguably the second-best player during this fall indoor hard-court season. The 19-year-old avenged his loss to the Canadian in last week’s Basel final with an impressive 6-4, 6-2 victory on Saturday to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career at the Rolex Paris Masters event in France.
Auger-Aliassime got behind early in the match after being broken in the third game of the opening set and was never able to recover. The fatigue of his remarkable run over the past four weeks, which included 16 straight wins and three consecutive ATP titles, finally caught up to him. He couldn’t keep up with Rune’s consistent attack and often found himself playing defence instead of offence in the rallies. Struggling with his footwork somewhat, he leaked more errors than usual from his racquet. The Dane also served and returned very well throughout the contest en route to his fourth final in his last four tournaments.
Despite the loss, Auger-Aliassime’s second appearance in a Masters 1000 semifinal means he will rise to a career-high of no. 6 on the ATP rankings beginning Monday and has the no. 5 spot well within reach as he prepares to take part in the prestigious Nitto ATP Finals for the first time starting November 13 in Turin, Italy.