Felix Auger-Aliassime won his first-ever ATP Tour title at the ninth attempt, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final of the Rotterdam Open, 6-4 6-2.
One of those finals had been in Rotterdam at the 2020 edition of the event, and though he lost that one to Gael Monfils, the Canadian has developed his game hugely since then and was too strong for Tsitsipas, breaking his opponent in the first game to set the tone for the encounter.
Auger-Aliassime had been in imperious form all week, losing just two sets in the tournament and seeing off the likes of Britons Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie on his way to the final.
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“It has not been the smoothest road since my first final three years ago,” Auger-Aliassime said.
“It is an amazing day for me to get my first title and especially here. I played my first ATP main draw here a couple of years ago, so it is right I won my first title here.
“I have a lot of good memories playing here in front of you, so thank you for making it a special week for me that I will remember for the rest of my life.
“It is the happiest day of my career and hopefully it is the first of many to come.”
Tsitsipas admitted he was beaten by the better player.
“He played a really good match, producing really good shots and serving well the whole match,” the Greek said.
“I wasn’t able to serve well at all today. He played very well.”
Auger-Aliassime's win was testament to the impact his coach Toni Nadal - uncle of Rafa - has had on his game since they teamed up in April last year.
The 21-year-old said last month: “Through conversations and through work on the court, I think I’ve been able to just learn and kind of take in information from Toni and process it.
“To see what I can improve and him being there is a huge source of motivation and more than anything it’s confidence and trust.
“He brought confidence that challenging the best players in the world is something that is doable.”
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