Could this be the one?
Félix Auger-Aliassime will certainly hope so after reaching his first ATP final of 2020 in Rotterdam. The 19-year-old showed great composure to see off the challenge of Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6(2), 6-4 in Saturday’s semi-final.
This was the first meeting between the two players on-tour. Heading into the match, Auger-Aliassime – ranked No. 21 – had beaten Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov and Aljaž Bedene of Slovenia to reach the tournament’s last four. Carreno Busta (No. 30), meanwhile, had overcome Adrian Mannarino of France, compatriot and sixth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut and Italy’s Jannik Sinner.
Watch that racket bag, @pablocarreno91 😅
— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 15, 2020
The first set was evenly fought, with five of the first seven games being won to love, and looked to be heading to a tiebreak until Carreno Busta manufactured two break point opportunities at 5-5. The Spaniard was unable to convert either of them, though, as Auger-Aliassime fought back to deuce before clinching the game to make it 6-5.
Carreno Busta won the next game on-serve to ensure the set would be decided by a tiebreaker. Auger-Aliassime won the first four points, including two mini-breaks, to put himself into pole position. And the 19-year-old wouldn’t relinquish his advantage as he wrapped up the first set 7-6(2).
Félix Auger-Aliassime claims a tight first set over Pablo Carreño Busta in Rotterdam, 7-6(2) after 52 minutes with 16 winners to 14 unforced errors.
The 19 year old is just one set away from his *fourth* career ATP Tour final and second at the 500 level. pic.twitter.com/bEMFDD9ueB
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) February 15, 2020
The moment Auger-Aliassime really took control of the match was in the third game of the second set. On Carreno Busta’s serve, the Montrealer claimed the third of three break points to take a decisive 2-1 lead. En route to winning the second set 6-4, the teenager won 95% of his first service points and had seven aces.
Auger-Aliassime, the youngest finalist in the tournament’s history, will now face either Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic or France’s Gael Monfils, seeded third, in Sunday’s ABN AMRO WTT final. Krajinovic, ranked No. 39, and Monfils, ranked No. 9, take to the court later this afternoon.
(Feature photo: ABN AMRO WTT)