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Canada´s Auger-Aliassime falls to Gael Monfils in Rotterdam final

Despite having to contend with a cold and fatigue, Félix Auger-Aliassime kept his cool in his 6-2, 6-4 defeat to Gaël Monfils in the fourth ATP final of the 19-year-old’s young career.

In his very first head-to-head versus Monfils, the Canadian was faced with the difficult task of withstanding the momentum his adversary has been steadily gaining over the past few weeks. After claiming the title in Montpellier last week, the reigning champion in Rotterdam had his eyes on his 10th career title.

Félix Auger-Aliassime, who is the youngest finalist in tournament’s history, was competing in his fourth ATP final and seeking to land his very first winner’s trophy. Feeling under the weather, he still managed to overpower a string of worthy competitors: Jan-Lennard Struff, Grigor Dimitrov, Alijaz Bedene and Pablo Carreno Busta.

Facing down three break points in the third game of the opening set, Auger-Aliassime found his rhythm and earned five consecutive points.

Unfortunately, his two vital weapons—his serve and forehand—let him down halfway through, and Monfils capitalized on his rival’s double faults to gain two consecutive breaks and the first set (6-2).

The Frenchman broke Auger-Aliassime early in the second and set the tone for the rest of the 90-minute match. Once again, he made the most of the Quebecer’s shortcomings and raised his game to quickly get up 5-1, but Auger-Aliassime hadn’t said his last word and found a way to fight off four match points.

In the end, Monfils wasn’t about to make the same error again and gave away only one point on serve to lift his tenth winner’s trophy.

For Auger-Aliassime, who had a truly great week, it’s now only a matter of time.

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