COLOGNE, Germany — Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime is through the final of the Cologne Open after posting a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 win over Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut in a semifinal match Saturday.
"It's a great win," Auger-Aliassime told TSN via Zoom. "Roberto's always a tough opponent. He actually beat me, we all remember last time, in Davis Cup, which was a heartbreaking loss for me ... happy I was able to take my revenge on him and beat him for the first time and get that important win for my confidence."
The 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime, who is looking for his first win on the ATP Tour, will appear in his third final this season and sixth of his career when he faces top seed Alexander Zverev of Germany in Sunday's final of the ATP 250 hardcourt tournament.
"It would be a great milestone," Auger-Aliassime said. "I have a great chance, a great match and opponent to win my first title ... I'm going to have to return well [and] keep on serving like I've been serving and then mix it up, play with angles and just play to my strengths and adapt throughout the match ... You beat a player of this quality, like him, with your strengths and that's what I'm going to bring to the table tomorrow."
After faltering in the second set on Saturday, Auger-Aliassime quickly regained momentum with an early break in the third before putting the second-seeded Spaniard away.
The third-seeded Canadian hit into five double faults and won just 64 per cent of his service points, but also fired seven aces and converted three of his six break point chances.
Bautista Agut won 70 per cent of his service points and 51 per cent of overall points thanks to his dominant second-set performance. He didn't serve an ace, and also converted three of his six break point opportunities.
It was the second meeting between Bautista Agut and Auger-Aliassime. The Spaniard won their first meeting at last year's Davis Cup final.
Zverev has defeated Auger-Aliassime in their two previous meetings.
"I feel like I'm, for sure, a different player than the last time I played him and even since my last finals at the start of the year," Auger-Aliassime said. "I've [made] some progress and have more keys to get out of a tense situation or come to a match with the best mindset ... I'm going to try to bring the best of me, stay in the present, enjoy it and then we'll see who takes the win."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2020.