21-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime won his first ATP Tour title after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-2 at the final of the Rotterdam Open. The Canadian had lost eight of his previous final appearances, failing to win a set, before his victory on Sunday. The win just gives momentum to the effort he has been putting in since this season started. He helped Canada win the ATP Cup before reaching the Australian Open quarterfinals, his second quarterfinal appearance.
Currently ranked world number nine, and the second-youngest player in the top 20, Auger-Aliassime defeated Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie on the way to facing Tsitsipas in the final. Tsitsipas struggled against his younger opponent and was particularly unimpressive in the second set, where he was trailing 5-1 at some point. He entered the competition after being knocked out of the Australian Open by Daniil Medvedev at the semifinals.
Speaking after the match, Auger-Aliassime could hardly contain his joy, as he expressed that a weight had been lifted from his shoulder: “I can’t explain the weight off my shoulder right now. I got a little bit emotional with my family, you know, towards the end after the match. It’s crazy, I’ve had sleepless nights thinking about this title and why I can’t overcome this feat. I didn’t have a clear reason.” He also said that this win would allow him to play more freely.
In other news, Anett Kontavei won the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Sunday after defeating Maria Sakkari 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 7-5. Kontavei recovered from a bad first set to winning the next two sets, which helped her claim her fourth straight WTA indoor title and her sixth title overall. She has now also become the sixth player to have won at least twenty straight indoor matches.
Written by: Leon Osamor