Facing crowd favorite and first seed Alexander Zverev, Félix Auger-Aliassime had to admit defeat in two identical 6-3 sets in the final of the Cologne tournament on Sunday.
“FAA” was never able to win with its first serve point, winning only 59% of the rally when it was in play. So it was broken from the start in this duel and he lost his service four times.
The loser was also very quiet after his defeat, being visibly unhappy with his game.
“I just played badly from start to finish,” Auger-Aliassime said, according to the ATP official website.
Zverev meanwhile appeared in front of his fans with the firm intention of playing a full game, just over a month after his lost final at the US Open. He won the first two rounds against Austrian Dominic Thiem before losing the next three.
“I had a tough final in New York and this is my first final since, so obviously I wanted to play my best tennis here and finish the game,” he explained.
Auger-Aliassime and Zverev have faced each other three times in ATP events, and Zverev, currently seventh racket in the world, has triumphed each time. The German has never lost a single set against the representative of the maple leaf. He has now won 12 career titles.
Despite everything, he was a good player, praising the talent of his opponent during the award ceremony.
“Felix, you are an incredible player,” he said. I know that doesn’t mean much right now, but I’m sure you’re going to win not just one title, but several in your career, and more important titles than this. “
“We know each other incredibly well … You’re going to be lifting a trophy very soon.”
Auger-Aliassime was on his sixth attempt in the final on the ATP circuit and he lost each time. The 20-year-old Quebecer, 22e in the world, had notably bent the spine twice in a final match in February, in Rotterdam and Marseille.
However, he will have a chance to recover as another tournament will take place in Cologne starting this week. He will cross swords with the American Steve Johnson (68e), Monday. Zverev will once again be the favorite.