Mercedes Cup of Stuttgart | Félix Auger-Aliassime again escapes his first title

This time will not have been the right one for Quebecer Félix Auger-Aliassime, who lost for the eighth time in as many career finals, Sunday morning at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. Croatian Marin Cilic had the upper hand 7-6 (2) and 6-3 in a duel that lasted 1 hour 43 minutes.

Third seed in the tournament which took place on grass, the Quebecer saved three service breaks in the first minutes of the match in order to win the first game. His opponent hit him the same in the next game, which set the tone to a match that turned out to be rather tight.

At 5-5 in the first set, Cilic made the first breakage of the match. Combative, Félix Auger-Aliassime then broke in turn under the applause of the few spectators present in the stands in Stuttgart. The decisive game, however, was the story of the Croatian, who came out on top 7-2.

The outcome of the match began to take shape in the second set, when Cilic broke the Quebecois’ serve and scored a shutout to take the lead 5-3. The rest was just formalities.

PHOTO MARIJAN MURAT, DPA VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

Marin Cilic

Félix Auger-Aliassime had 4 aces and committed 6 double faults in the defeat. His opposite has completed 7 aces and won 77% of the points on his first serve.

“I was not facing a final”

During the post-match press briefing, the Quebecer maintained that “the margins are fine on grass. Even the matches that I won in the last few days of the tournament, it was very little. ”

He also mentioned his low percentage of first balls won, 67%. It is 10% less than its opponent.

“He, on the contrary, served very well,” he said. Maybe if I had been able to push through to the tiebreak in the second set, I would have given myself another chance. ”

Auger-Aliassime, 21e racquet, has not won a round in each of the finals in which he took part in his career, three in 2019, three in 2020 and two in 2021. However, he had not lost a single round of the Stuttgart tournament before taking part in the final.

“Today, I was not facing a final. I faced Marin Cilic. They are two different things, he justified. There were times in finals where I didn’t play to the fullest of my ability and felt like I wasn’t playing well. But this time, to be honest, in the first set I had chances and so did he. I felt it was close, but all in all, he was better than me. ”

I faced a better player than me, who deserved to win.

Felix Auger-Aliassime

This is the first ATP title since 2018 for Marin Cilic, ranked 47e in the world. He was emotional after the game, since it was his first time playing in front of his son. Before receiving his trophy, he called Auger-Aliassime “one of the most professional players”.

Félix Auger-Aliassime’s next duel will take place this week at the grass tournament in Halle, Germany.

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