Photo : Swiss Indoors Basel
No one in the world is playing tennis as well as Félix Auger-Aliassime right now.
The Canadian No. 1 won his 13th match in a row on Sunday to win his third title in three weeks, lifting the trophy at the Swiss Indoors Basel with a straight-set with over Holger Rune.
All week, the Canadian’s serve was untouchable and that continued in the final. Auger-Aliassime became the third player this season to win a title without having his serve broken, capping off the run with a 6-3, 7-5 victory.
With the win, the Canadian takes a stranglehold on a spot at the ATP Finals, leapfrogging Andrey Rublev for No. 6 in the race to Turin.
Auger-Aliassime’s serve has been crucial throughout the winning streak and that remained true in the Basel final. He won 75 per cent of his service points and saved all three break points he faced. It was a clean match from both men, but the Canadian was hitting just a bit bigger with 34 winners to his opponent’s 21.
Neither man had had their serve broken on their way to the final, but Auger-Aliassime wasted little time in breaking through. Under pressure from the Canadian, Rune dumped back-to-back shots into the net from deuce in the fourth game to drop serve for the first time all week and give the lead to Auger-Aliassime.
Despite falling behind love-30 in the next game, Auger-Aliassime continued his big-serving ways through the first set as Rune never had a chance to reclaim the break. The Canadian was bullying his young opponent around the court and closed out the opening set with a hold to love.
Rune upped the resistance in the second set, swinging more freely and creating pressure on his opponent’s serve. But every time the Dane looked on the brink of finally breaking Auger-Aliassime’s serve came to the rescue.
The Canadian faced three break points in the second set, one in the second game and two 15-40 down at 3-4, but on all three he hit unreturnable serves.
When Auger-Aliassime had his chance to break, he pounced. At 5-all, the Canadian got a 15-40 advantage of his own and while Rune kept fighting and saved both, he finally shanked a forehand on the fourth break point of the game to hand the break to Auger-Aliassime.
With the title on his racquet, the Canadian held serve for the 86th consecutive time, dating back to his quarter-final last week in Antwerp, to seal the win.
Attention now turns to the Paris Masters next week, the final regular event on the ATP Calendar and the last chance to qualify for the ATP Finals. Auger-Aliassime is in position to qualify at No. 6 and controls his own destiny, especially given he could meet Taylor Fritz, one of the men who is also chasing the final qualifying spots, in the third round.