Canada’s Félix Auger-Aliassime advanced to the final of the indoor tournament in Cologne following a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain on Saturday.
In the final, Auger-Aliassime will face the German and favorite Alexander Zverev. The 20-year-old Quebecker will be looking for his first ATP title in his sixth career final, his third in 2020.
Auger-Aliassime, 22nd in the world standings, needed an hour and 50 minutes to defeat 13th Bautista Agut. Bautista Agut had won their only previous encounter, in the Davis Cup final last year.
Bautista Agut suffered a break in serve on the second game of the third set and Auger-Aliassime was able to maintain his advantage until the end.
Auger-Aliassime saved a break point at 4-2, then closed the books on his second opportunity in the last game of the game.
For his part, Zverev, the seventh racket in the world, defeated Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-5, 7-6 (3).
Zverev has 11 ATP titles to his name, including three indoors. He recently reached the final at the US Open, before losing to Austria’s Dominic Thiem.
Auger-Aliassime has lost his two previous duels against Zverev, on clay in Monte-Carlo and on hard court in Beijing, both times in 2019 and in two sets.
Raonic and Shapovalov eliminated in Russia
The journeys of Canadians Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic ended in the semi-finals at the St. Petersburg Open on Saturday. They both won the first leg of their match before being knocked down by their rivals.
Russian Andrey Rublev defeated Shapovalov 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, while Croatian Borna Coric defeated Raonic 1-6, 6-1, 6-4.
In the first game of the day, the key service break was acquired by Rublev in the fifth game of the third inning. He finally finished off Shapovalov a little later, after a duel lasting nearly two hours and ten minutes.
Shapovalov lost his temper after falling victim to the ultimate inning break of serve. He was angry that a spectator applauded a foul on his first serve.
He also received treatment to a shoulder during the change of ends two games later.
Shapovalov, 12th in the world rankings, is 0-2 in the semi-finals this season. He lost to Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman last month in Rome.
The 21-year-old Ontarian committed eight double faults on Saturday in a close duel against Rublev, the No. 10 in the world.
Rublev, however, showed a little more opportunism, taking advantage of two of five break points he obtained. Shapovalov managed just one breakage, despite six chances.
In the second semi-final, Raonic had 18 aces against two double faults, but he also suffered three service breaks.
Coric, 27th in the world rankings, raised his level of play after the first round and dominated Raonic, 21st, in the second. The Croatian went on to secure the key service break in game five of the final set.
Raonic was aiming for a second appearance in a final in 2020. He dropped the title ahead of Novak Djokovic at the Cincinnati Masters, played in New York in August.