Felix Auger Aliassime Ends The Long Wait To Win In Rotterdam
MDP Live - Felix Auger Aliassime has finally cracked the code to win the first ATP tournament title of his career at the 2022 Rotterdam Open.
In his ninth career ATP final at the Rotterdam Open, the third seed stepped up his game and handled the pressure well before beating first-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2 in 78 minutes.
The tennis player who beat defending champion Andrey Rublev in three sets for a place in the final of the ATP level 500 tournament, was relentlessly dominant from the start against Greece's Tsitsipas. He fired an aggressive groundstroke and targeted the world number 4's backhand from the baseline to cause a lethal effect before claiming the biggest win of his career.
"The road I've been on is not the smoothest since my first final three seasons ago," admits Auger Aliassime. "It's an amazing day for me to win my first title and especially here. I had my first ATP tournament here a few seasons ago, so it's very fitting that I won my first title here."
Prior to the Rotterdam Open final against Tsitsipas, the Canadian was 0-8 in the ATP finals and failed to win a set in all of them.
However, after defeats in the finals in Melbourne and Stuttgart last season, the third seed is showing signs that he is close to overcoming the hurdles in the final. He helped Canada win the ATP Cup in early January, before he reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open when he cornered Daniil Medvedev in five sets.
With this victory, the world number 9 reduced the head to head distance against Tsitsipas to 3-5. It was the first time he had beaten a world number 4 since the 2019 season when he beat him at Queen's Club.
“I have many wonderful memories playing here, in front of all of you, so thank you so much for making this week special for me, that I will remember for the rest of my life. This is the happiest day of my career and hopefully it will be the first of many titles," said Auger Aliassime.
In this season's Rotterdam Open final, Tsitsipas is eyeing an eighth career title and his first since last May when he won the title at Lyon and has yet to win an ATP level 500 title.
"He played a really good game, produced some really impressive shots and served convincingly throughout the match," Tsitsipas commented on Auger Aliassime. "I wasn't able to serve well this time. He played really well.”
Felix Auger Aliassime Returns Andy Murray From Rotterdam Open
MDP Live - Third seed Felix Auger Aliassime continued his path to winning the 2022 Rotterdam Open title with a convincing win.
The tennis player who reached the Rotterdam final in the 2020 season (lost to Gael Monfils), succeeded in overthrowing former world number 1 Andy Murray 6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour 37 minutes for a place in the quarterfinals.
"From the start of the game, I was ready and focused. I think that's why I was able to produce a high level performance from the first point,” said Auger Aliassime, who is now 2-0 up in his head to head against Murray.
"He got me to the best of my ability and I feel really happy with the way I played and that I was able to stay ahead of him. To win it in straight sets is a huge relief."
The Canadian is making his fourth Rotterdam Open appearance this week and arrived in the Netherlands with his best finish to date at the Australian Open when he lost to Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals.
The 21-year-old displayed confidence throughout the match against Murray, including setting foot in the baseline area to send the 34-year-old sprinting from corner to corner with powerful strokes.
In a highly entertaining match, the Canadian started the first set 4-0, while the Briton struggled to overcome the consistent power and accuracy of the world number 9.
After claiming the first set, the two players exchanged break opportunities early in the second, before the world number 9 seized control by breaking Murray once again in the fifth game while displaying superb footwork to dictate the match with his forehand. The third seed also sealed the victory with a forehand volley.
Thanks to the win, eight-time runner-up Auger Aliassime is now 9-3 in 2022 after helping Canada win the ATP Cup earlier in January. Next, he will face sixth seed and Murray's compatriot Cameron Norrie for a place in the semifinals.
Murray won the Rotterdam Open title in 2009 and is looking to pick up a third win over a top 10 player in a row after beating Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner last season.
Felix Auger Aliassime leaves Melbourne with his head held high
MDP Live - Canadian tennis player Felix Auger Aliassime was disappointed, but unfazed after suffering a bitter defeat in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
The 21-year-old squandered a two-set lead – including a match point opportunity in the fourth set – against world number 2 Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals of the 2021 Australian Open. Nonetheless, he showed admirable maturity in overcoming the disappointment of the loss. .
"I can come back and I hope I will take a different choice or I hope Daniil doesn't play that well in certain moments. However, it's still a pretty good effort,” admits Auger Aliassime.
"In the end, I can't feel sorry for the effort I put in and the opportunities I gave myself. I want to look at it in a positive light.”
"Of course I want to win. I like winning. It's pretty frustrating when you lose, but that's life. I just have to accept it.”
The defeat will be quite painful because for the second time in a row, the Canadian national lost after winning by two sets at the Australian Open. But there are many positive things he can take from the match. The world number 9 tennis player was able to corner the world number 2 player, Medvedev to the brink of defeat.
“I always believed that I could produce the performance I did in that match. I showed it, but of course it's the difference between knowing you have that belief in yourself and showing it in real games, playing it and being so close to winning."
"But of course it's a positive thing, I mean, it's quite positive for me. It's a world-class competition, so at the end of the day, I think that's a reassuring message I can send to my fellow players I'm facing in the competition."
"I'm ready to test myself against the best players and I've proven that time and time again."
The Canadian added that he would happily put himself in that position again with the belief that in the future he will finally be able to 'cross that line'. But for now, he plans to reflect on the positive start of the season and use that momentum over the next few weeks or months.
"I wish I could go back and change it, but I can't. So, I have to accept it. That's what happened. I see it from the positive side," said Auger Aliassime.
"It's a shame I couldn't win, but it was an impressive match. I point out some positives. I'm going to leave Australia with my head held high and I'm going to go through the rest of the season knowing that I can play well, I can play well against the best players in the world."
ATP Cup Results: Germany tackles, Canada advances to the semifinals
MDP Live - Felix Auger Aliassime steered Canada into the ATP Cup semifinals after thrashing world number 3 Alexander Zverev 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, his first career win over a top 5 player.
After England's 2-1 win over the US earlier at the Qudos Bank Arena, Canada knew a win over Germany would see them through to the semifinals of the 2022 ATP Cup season.
With the pressure all around, Auger Aliassime followed in Denis Shapovalov's winning footsteps by showing incredible tenacity against Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Zverev. With the win, Canada won 2-0 against Germany in Group C and will face defending champions Russia in this season's ATP Cup semifinals.
“It was incredible to beat Zverev,” Auger Aliassime exclaimed. “I played a stunning match. He's a great player and he's beaten me a few times before. So, I'm very happy to be able to complete my task today (6/1), especially for the team."
"We had a pretty tough start to the tournament a few days ago, so to finish well and make it to the semi-finals feels really special. The atmosphere is also amazing, that's why we compete."
In an entertaining match, the 21-year-old bounced back after wasting four break point opportunities at 3-3 in the second set before winning the match after 2 hours 32 minutes.
World number 12 Auger Aliassime was impressive with his serve throughout the match, including winning 76 percent of his first serve points. He maintained a high and consistent level of play in a fierce decider before going 2-4 in head to head against Zverev.
For the first time, Canada has reached the semifinals of the men's team competition. Another semifinal will bring together Poland and Spain.
In the previous match, Shapovalov gave Canada hope with a 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 win over Jan Lennard Struff.
"It's great to be back and competing," said Shapovalov. "We got a golden opportunity. There is a lot waiting for us, but we are fighting and we have fought every game. Felix inspired us in the previous games and we are just trying to give everything we can for Canada."
The match between Canada and Germany was completed when German duo Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz beat Steven Diez and Brayden Schnur 6-3, 6-4.