Auger-Aliassime rallies to advance to Lyon Open final
LYON, France — Canadian teen Felix Auger-Aliassime is heading to the final of the Lyon Open.
The No. 4 seed from Montreal edged top-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 in semifinal action on Friday at the ATP Tour 250 clay-court event.
The win sends the 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime into Saturday's final against unseeded Benoit Paire of France.
Now ranked 28th in the world, Auger-Aliassime will ride some momentum into next week's French Open, the second Grand Slam of the season.
"I came here (to Lyon) because I thought maybe something good could happen because I felt good two years in a row in this city (he won Challenger tournaments across the street in 2017 and 2018)," Auger-Aliassime said. "And here I am in the finals — and I still haven't lost here.
"It's been tough matches this week, but I've been able to get through every time against tough opponents."
Lyon will mark Auger-Aliassime's second final on clay this year. He lost in the Rio Open final against Laslo Djere of Serbia in February.
Friday's win was Auger-Aliassime's second against the 18th-ranked Basilashvili this year.
Auger-Aliassime won 83 per cent of points on first serve, 13 per cent higher than his opponent's clip.
The Canadian also saved seven of nine break points for Basilashvili.
The win will push Auger-Aliassime to 22nd in the world rankings next week
No Canadian has won an ATP Tour title since Milos Raonic captured the Brisbane, Australia tournament in January 2016.