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Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime reaches Open 13 men's tennis final
Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime makes a backhand return to Latvia's Ernests Gulbis during their first round singles match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Dita Alangkara
MARSEILLE, FRANCE -- Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime is off to the final at the Open 13 men's tennis tournament.
The 19-year-old from Montreal, the tournament's seventh seed, advanced with a 7-5, 7-6 (2) semifinal win over French veteran Gilles Simon on Saturday. Auger-Aliassime will face defending-champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in the championship game Sunday.
Auger-Aliassime rallied from a break down to win the first set in just over an hour. After Simon held serve to go up 6-5 in the second, Auger-Aliassime did the same emphatically at love to force the tiebreaker.
The Canadian finished with fives aces in the match -- Simon had one -- and won 79 per cent of points on his first serve compared to 67 per cent for his opponent. Auger-Aliassime converted two-of-six break opportunities while Simon was one-for-three.
Tsitsipas advanced with a 7-5, 6-3 semifinal victory against Alexander Bublik. The second seed from Greece had six aces and broke his strong-serving Kazakh opponent's serve three times, dropping his own once.
Playing only his third semifinal at this level, Bublik competed well and hit eight aces.
The 21-year-old Tsitsipas will aim for his fifth career title when he faces Auger-Aliassime.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2020.