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Canada's Auger-Aliassime beats Carreno Busta to reach Rotterdam final

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6 (2), 6-4 on Saturday to reach the final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

Up 4-3 in the second set, the 19-year-old from Montreal fought off a break point and went on to complete the win in one hour 49 minutes.

Auger-Aliassime had a 16-4 edge in aces and hit 33 winners in the match to just 13 for the veteran Spaniard.

"The first set was really tight with both of us serving really well," Auger-Aliassime said. "I was serving the best I've ever served in that first set and then played a solid tiebreak." 

The Canadian will play defending champion Gael Monfils of France in Sunday's final at the ATP Tour 500 indoor hardcourt event. Monfils defeated Serbia's Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the late semifinal.

Auger-Aliassime, the world No. 21, broke Carreno Busta in a marathon third game of the second set.

"I was thinking, 'If this goes my way, it might be tough for him.' So I really pushed to get through," Auger-Aliassime said. "Obviously you know the end is coming if you keep serving well and keep holding your serve … things got a bit difficult, saving that break point after making some tight mistakes.

"It was not easy. I came up clutch again, so obviously I am happy with myself."

Auger-Aliassime is searching for his first career ATP Tour title. He made it to three finals last year in his first full season on tour.

Monfils, who beat Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil last weekend to win the Open Sud de France, will try to become the first player since Robin Soderling (in 2011) to successfully defend his Rotterdam title. 

Also Saturday, Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., and partner Rohan Bopanna of India lost to Finland's Henri Kontinen and Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff in the men's doubles semifinal, 5-7, 6-2, 10-8.

Kontinen and Struff will play in Sunday's final against the French duo of Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who beat South Africa's Raven Klaasen and Austria's Oliver Marach 6-7 (6), 7-6 (6), 10-7.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 15, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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