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.”