Antwerp Tournament: Félix Auger-Aliassime again in the final
In a veritable battle of generations, Félix Auger-Aliassime defeated French veteran Richard Gasquet in straight sets 7-6(2) and 7-6(3) on Saturday at the tournament in Antwerp, Belgium, to reach a second consecutive final.
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The 22-year-old Quebecer will have his eyes riveted on another trophy, he who triumphed last week in Florence. Gasquet, 36, however, did not leave an inch to his young opponent, bringing him to the tiebreaker each time.
Both men showed great discipline on serve. Each put a little more than 65% of their first balls in play, and Auger-Aliassime even obtained 85% of the points from these circumstances. He also offered the only break point of the game, in the second set, which Gasquet saved quickly.
Even if « FAA » needed no less than 2 h 42 min to overcome the Briton Daniel Evans in the previous round, he admitted to the ATP site that he had even more trouble against Gasquet.
“It was the toughest game of the week so far. If I hadn’t served so well, it would have been really difficult to win. My serve helped me enormously to be expeditious in possession of the balls.
« But [Gasquet] was really good. He’s still playing so well after so many years on the circuit. Hats off to him for not giving up. He sets a great example for our sport.”
The 10th player in the world, who is the second seed of the event, once again demonstrated all his power by scoring 22 aces and 45 winners.
“FAA” will face American Sebastian Korda in the final, who earlier in the day defeated Austrian Dominic Thiem in three sets of 6-7 (4), 6-3 and 7-6 (4). The 36th-ranked ATP player and Auger-Aliassime have crossed paths twice before, each winning a duel.
Their last meeting took place last April, when Korda won in two identical sets of 6-2.