Félix Auger-Aliassime defeats Holger Rune in straight sets in the final of the Basel tournament


BASEL, Switzerland — Montreal’s Félix Auger-Aliassime won his third title in as many weeks on the ATP Tour, and fourth in his career, with a straight-set 6-3, 7-5 victory over the Dane Holger Rune, Sunday, in the final of the Basel tennis tournament.

As in his previous games this week, Auger-Aliassime was invincible on his serve, despite the valiant efforts of his 19-year-old opponent to solve it.

Auger-Aliassime had 11 aces, only three double faults and saved all three break points he faced, all in the second set.

He also became the third player on the ATP Tour in 2022 to win a tournament without losing a single service game. American Taylor Fritz and Australian Nick Kyrgios had achieved the feat, in Eastbourne and Washington, respectively.

Two of those break points he saved came at a crucial moment in the second set when Rune led 4-3, on even serve.

However, his serve, which seems to have become his weapon of choice, came to the rescue of Auger-Aliassime. He saved the former with a service winner and the latter with an ace.

Then, in the 11th game of this second set, Auger-Aliassime created four break points. He converted the fourth when Rune sent a forehand wide outside the sideline.

It was only the second time since the start of the tournament that Rune had lost his serve. The previous one occurred in the fourth game of the first set.

With a 6-5 lead and on serve, Auger-Aliassime won the first three points to give himself as many match points.

The Montrealer squandered the first on a double fault and the second on a forehand volley that landed in the net.

The third was finally the right one, when Rune sent a forehand out of bounds, after an hour 39 minutes of tense and quality play on both sides.

“It’s been a fantastic week. Again in the final, without breaking service, without breaking all week. I hope to be able to continue, but for the moment, I feel all the good emotions which come when you win a tournament”, declared Auger-Aliassime during an interview conducted on the court a few moments after his victory.

After the decisive point, Auger-Aliassime dropped his racquet and fell on his back, behind the baseline, while taking his head between his two hands.

After the traditional handshakes with his opponent and the chief referee, Auger-Aliassime expressed his joy on the court for a few moments, drank in the applause of the Swiss public before joining the members of his team, seated at the ground level in one of the corners of the enclosure.

« I’m not used to reacting so much, but I think it was a sincere reaction, at the end, with all the tension in that last game, » he explained. during his on-court interview.

During his post-match interview, Auger-Aliassime said he had a thought for Roger Federer on Sunday morning. The legendary Swiss, who retired last month due to persistent knee injuries, is from Basel and shares the same birthday, August 8.

« I thought it would be cool if I won here, where he’s won 10 times, » he remarked.

Winner in Florence two weeks ago and in Antwerp last Sunday, Auger-Aliassime will gain a place in the ATP rankings following his victory in Basel and will occupy eighth place on Monday.

He has now won his last 13 games, his last defeat dating back to October 3, in Kazakhastan, against Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut.

In the fight for a place in the ATP Finals which will take place in November in Turin, Auger-Aliassime now occupies the sixth rung.

As for Rune, 25th in the ATP rankings at the start of the week, he will break into the top-20 for the first time in his career, at 18th.

« I tried to dictate the tempo of rallies every chance I got, and it was very difficult today, » Rune said in an interview, excerpts of which were posted on the website. of ATP.

“He probably served better than any player I’ve faced, close to the line, so precise, over 200 km/h. It was very difficult. I had a few break points and he served aces. So I can’t blame myself for not being able to break his serve,” added Rune.


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