Félix Auger-Aliassime (Montreal, QC) came very close to capturing his first ATP Tour title on Sunday but fell at the hands of the 23-year-old Serbian Laslo Djere by a score of 6-3, 7-5 in the final. The two players were playing for a chance to capture their first career titles and go home with 500 ATP points.
Auger-Aliassime seemed nervous at the start of the match. In fact, he was broken on four occasions in the first set. The Quebec native, however, had a better start to the second set as he went up the early break. His lead did not last long as Djere regained his consistency at the baseline, levelled out the score and eventually converted on his fifth match point to get the win. With his victory, Djere will move up in the rankings from no. 90 to no. 37.
Prior to his deep run in Rio, Auger-Aliassime was still looking to break into the Top 100 for the first time in his career. One week later, he leaves the tournament having not only accomplished the feat, but having reached the Top 60. When the updated rankings are published on Monday, he will find himself at no. 59, having moved up over 40 spots in the course of a week. Furthermore, the 18-year-old athlete became the youngest finalist of an ATP 500 event since the introduction of this category of tournament in 2009. He was also looking to become the youngest winner of an ATP Tour title since Kei Nishikori in 2008.
After Sunday’s final, Auger-Aliassime talked about the positives that he would take away from his impressive run in Rio.
“Or course it’s a little bit disappointing for me, seeing as I was playing for a chance to win my first title today. But at the same time, I won’t lose too much sleep over the loss because I know that I have accomplished good things this week and I will build on the positives. My serve fell apart today, which is frustrating because I was serving well all week and I knew that I could do better. But these are things that happen, and it proves that I just have to get better and mature as a player and as a person in order to give myself more chances to win a title. Today’s final is already in the past for me, now I just want to recover from this emotional week and get ready for the next tournament in Sao Paulo.”
A recap of Auger-Aliassime’s week
On Monday, he was ranked no. 104 in the world, one spot away from his career-high ranking of no. 103.
On Tuesday, he earned the biggest win of his career when he defeated the Italian Fabio Fognini, the tournament’s second seed and world no. 16.
On Wednesday, he got his revenge against Christian Garin of Chile who had defeated him the previous week in Buenos Aires.
On Friday, he got the better of the Spaniard Jaume Minaur in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and reached his first career ATP semi-final without dropping a set.
On Saturday, he notched his fourth consecutive victory over a Top 100 player when he defeated the 2016 Rio Open champions Pablo Cuevas, the world no. 63. Auger-Aliassime thus became the youngest finalist of an ATP Tour 500 tournament since the induction of this category of event in 2009.
Today, he was looking to become the youngest winner of an ATP title since Kei Nishikori in 2008, but fell in the final against Laslo Djere by a score of 6-3, 7-5.
In Monday’s rankings, he will move up to a new career-high of world no. 59.