Auger-Aliassime Claims Maiden ATP Title In Rotterdam

Felix Auger-Aliassime (photo: Henk Koster ABN Amro WTT)

ROTTERDAM/STARNBERG, February 13, 2022

After winning the ATP Cup alongside Denis Shapovalov, Brayden Schnur and Steven Diez a few weeks ago, Félix Auger-Aliassime of Canada won his first singles ATP Tour title on Sunday. He defeated World No. 4 and top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece 6-4, 6-2 after one hour and 17 minutes in the singles final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, an ATP 500 hard-court event in Rotterdam, Netherlands. In addition to breaking his eight-match losing streak in ATP finals, the 21-year-old Montreal native also snapped a five-match losing skid against the Greek. With this victory, Auger-Aliassime becomes the first Canadian player since Shapovalov in Stockholm 2019 to be crowned singles champion on the ATP Tour. The run to his maiden title included wins over Egor Gerasimov from Belarus, Britons Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie, as well as World No. 7 Andrey Rublev of Russia. Ironically, this first trophy for Auger-Aliassime comes in Rotterdam, at the same tournament where he made his ATP main draw debut in 2018 as a wild card entry.

 “It’s been not the smoothest road since my first final three years ago,” said Auger-Aliassime in front of the crowd. “It’s been an amazing day for me to get this first title and especially here, [where] I’ve done my first ATP main draw a couple years ago so I guess it’s right that I get my first ATP title here. Thank you for making it a special week that I will remember for the rest of my life. It’s the happiest day of my career and hopefully this is the first of many to come.” Tsitsipas reached the final with wins over World No. 46 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina from Spain, World No. 48 Ilya Ivashka of Belarus, World No. 34 Alex de Minaur from Australia and World No. 137 Jiri Lehecka from the Czech Republic. Despite an easier road to the championship match than Auger-Aliassime, the winner of seven career ATP titles put on an excellent show for the fans at the Rotterdam Ahoy and congratulated the Quebec native on his performance. “I would like to congratulate Félix for this incredible achievement,” said Tsitsipas after the match. “The first [title] is the most special one, [for] you and your team, with all the efforts that you put in and all the sacrifices [you made] every single day. I hope you keep winning those titles.” Auger-Aliassime started the match with a lot of energy, breaking the Greek in the opening game. The Montrealer also excelled on serve, giving up only two points to his rival in the first set. In full control of the match, the Canadian continued to dominate in the second frame, winning four consecutive points to break Tsitsipas’ serve in the first game and firmly establish his lead. Like a locomotive, Auger-Alissiame continued to turn up the pressure by winning three straight games to take an insurmountable lead at 5-1. He finally put an end to his long drought in ATP finals a few minutes later by putting the final touches on a match that lasted one hour, 19 minutes and one in which he largely overwhelmed his opponent. “It was the power of hard work, Félix’s consistency and patience that did the trick today. He was determined, calm and focused on being a better tennis player every day and today is obviously a welcome relief [for him] to win his first title,” said his coach Frédéric Fontang. Auger-Aliassime is having a great start to the year. In addition to winning the ATP Cup, he reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open before being defeated by eventual finalist Daniil Medvedev in a riveting match 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 5-7, 4-6. The Canadian now also has six wins over Top 15 players this season and is currently the tour leader in match wins with twelve. Auger-Aliassime earned €109,565 in prize money as well as 500 ATP Ranking points. With a first title now under his belt, he is expected to move up to World No. 8, the highest ranking of his career.