Felix Auger-Aliassime advanced to his second ATP Tour final in as many weeks on Saturday, beating Gilles Simon 7-5, 7-6(2) at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.
The #NextGenATP Canadian saved two of three break points to record his 12th victory in 19 matches this year in just under two hours. Auger-Aliassime will be aiming to lift his first title in his fifth ATP Tour championship match. At last week’s ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, the 19-year-old beat former Top 10 stars Grigor Dimitrov and Pablo Carreno Busta to reach his second ATP 500 final.
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Auger-Aliassime has saved five match points en route to the championship match in Marseille. The World No. 18 was forced to save two match points in his first-round encounter against Stefano Travaglia, before surviving three match points in his second-round clash against Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Auger-Aliassime will face defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas for the title. The second seed beat Alexander Bublik 7-5, 6-3 to earn his seventh straight match win in Marseille.
Auger-Aliassime leads Tsitsipas 2-1 in their ATP Head2Head series. The 19-year-old beat the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion in Indian Wells and at The Queen’s Club last year, but Tsitsipas triumphed in the pair’s most recent meeting four months ago in Shanghai.
After committing four consecutive errors to drop serve at 2-3, Auger-Aliassime raised his game to move one set away from the final. From 2-5 down, the Canadian found success with a series of powerful forehands to earn back-to-back service breaks. Auger-Aliassime ripped a forehand approach up the line to convert his first set point.
In a second set dominated by serve, Auger-Aliassime proved the more consistent player in crucial moments. From 1/1 in the tie-break, the Canadian held each of his three service points before landing a forehand winner to earn four match points. Simon committed a double-fault to end the semi-final encounter.
Simon was bidding to reach his third Marseille final by recording his 30th victory at the ATP 250 tournament. The 35-year-old owns more victories in Marseille (29) than any other tour-level event.