Auger-Aliassime Returns To Stuttgart Final

Felix Auger-Aliassime (photo: MercedesCup/Daniel Kopatsch)


#NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime and Croatian veteran Marin Cilic will play Sunday’s singles final of the MercedesCup in Stuttgart. Auger-Aliassime defeated US-American Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5 in the opening match on Center Court.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon at the Tennis Club Weissenhof, the No. 2 seed of the ATP 250 grass-court tournament didn’t face a break point and capitalized on both of his own two break-point chances to prevail after one hour and 18 minutes.

“Today was good. It was a tricky match, playing Sam on grass,” Auger-Aliassime said during his post-match press conference. “When I was in the rally, I won most of the points. He didn’t put first serves. That helped me. I was able to return well, make him play. In the end, I played a good last point.”

The 20-year-old returned to the final of the MercedesCup for the second time after finishing runner-up to Matteo Berrettini two years ago.

“The rallies on grass are short. You have to be focused all the time. Things can turn around quickly but I was able to do well today. There are no expectations. There will be the final tomorrow and other tournaments are coming up and I will force try to keep my level as much as I can. The serving and attacking game is working well for me.”

Asked if he feels some kind of pressure, as even younger players than him are coming up, Auger-Aliassime responded: “They are playing really well. Fortunately, I am still a little bit ahead but they are right there. We have a great generation, some of them a bit older, others a bit younger than me. There are a lot of good players with different game styles and I think it will be good for the future of tennis.”

Later in the day, Cilic benefited from the retirement of  Austria’s Jurij Rodionov, who appeared in the stage of the final four at ATP Tour level for the first time. Cilic won the first set 6-3 and was leading 1-0 in the second when Rodionov was forced to stop playing due to injury.

“I am definitively feeling really good. I am very excited to be in the final after quite some period,” said Cilic, who will play for his first title since winning in London at the Queen’s Club in 2018. “It has been a very positive week for me. I played some good tennis, had a great match against Denis yesterday and also the other matches were of high quality. Considering it is a shorter season with one week less, it gave me the chance here to prepare for the grass. I hope to keep this good form into London as well.”

Cilic leads 2-0 in his head-to-head record with Auger-Aliassime. Their last meeting took place at the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris Bercy in November last year. The champion will earn €53,280 in prize money, 250 ATP Ranking points as well as a brand new Mercedes EQ series.