Photo: ATP Tour
Félix Auger-Aliassime was the lone Canadian victor on Saturday, ousting Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in the semi-finals in Cologne, Germany by a score of 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
This was the Canadian’s first win over his rival, having lost to the Spaniard in their only other previous meeting at the Davis Cup Final in Madrid last November.
Auger-Aliassime, the tournament’s third seed, had had a dominant week so far in Cologne, winning handily over his opponents without dropping a single set. He continued his momentum into the opening set of his semi-final match, racing out to a quick lead. After Bautista Agut leveled out the score with a break of his own, the Canadian converted on a late opportunity to take the opening set.
The Montreal native experienced some difficulties in the second set, particularly on his serve. His opponent would go on to force a decider, where it was Auger-Aliassime who regained control of the match, jumping out to another quick lead. Despite some late errors, he managed to hold on to his lead and came away with the win after just under two hours of play.
“In the opening set, I think I played on the best sets in my career. I was doing everything well. The ball was going where I wanted it to, and I was making my shots. In my mind, I knew it was going to be a difficult match. After the second set, I kept believing in myself and my serving helped me close the deal in the end,” stated Auger-Aliassime after his victory.
With his victory, Auger-Aliassime reaches his sixth ATP Tour final, having already reached two finals earlier this year in Rotterdam and Marseille.
He will now take on the No. 1 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany in the final on Sunday. The 20-year-old Canadian has never defeated Zverev, losing out in their two previous encounters in Beijing and Monaco last year.