Felix clinches Firenze Open title, improves Turin qualification hopes
Canadian tennis player Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated American J.J. Wolf 6-4, 6-4 in the final to win the Firenze Open title, here on Sunday.
Florence (Italy), Oct 16 (IANS) Canadian tennis player Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated American J.J. Wolf 6-4, 6-4 in the final to win the Firenze Open title, here on Sunday.
The top seed lost just one set en route to the trophy, defeating World No 75 Wolf in one hour and 41 minutes to claim the crown.
It was a critical week for Auger-Aliassime's hopes of qualifying for the ATP Finals, which will be played in Turin from November 13-20. One week after Taylor Fritz moved into the final qualifying position by triumphing in Tokyo, Auger-Aliassime surged past the American into seventh in the ATP Live Race To Turin. He now has a 180-point lead over the American.
Tenth-placed Novak Djokovic has claimed his spot in Turin under the Grand Slam champion provision, which awards entry to a current-year major winner who finishes between eighth and 20th in the Live Race.
Auger-Aliassime arrived in Florence following a straight-sets loss to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the Astana Open, but quickly regained his confidence. The Canadian lost his serve just four times at the ATP 250, powering past opponents with a wide variety of game styles -- the aggressive Oscar Otte, big-hitting Brandon Nakashima, all-around Lorenzo Musetti and baseliner Wolf -- to earn his second trophy (also Rotterdam).
Sunday's final began with three consecutive service breaks as both players searched for rhythm on the indoor hard court. But it was Auger-Aliassime who consistently earned more opportunities on his opponent's serve. After losing his first service game of the match, Felix did not face another break point.
Wolf saved nine of the 12 break points he faced, but it was not enough. The American tried to trade powerful blows with Auger-Aliassime, showing no fear of striking from right on the baseline, or stepping into returns against the big-serving Canadian.
But Auger-Aliassime maintained too high of a level throughout the match and was more comfortable in those power-filled rallies. The 22-year-old sealed his victory with his 11th ace, after which he quickly turned to his team to show his joy.
Wolf was trying to win his first ATP Tour title. The American will climb to a career-high No. 56 in the ATP Rankings on Monday.
Auger-Aliassime will return to the Top 10 in the ATP Rankings when he climbs to World No. 10 on Monday. The Canadian ascended to a career-high World No. 8 in August.