Stefanos Tsitsipas won his first title of 2020 last week as he beat 19 year old Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3 6-4 to retain the Open 13 title in Marseille.
The world number six looked in fine form as he failed to drop a single set across his four victories en route to the crown. Before Auger-Aliassime, the Greek younger dispatched of Sweden’s Mikael Ymer, Montpellier finalist Vasek Pospisil, and Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan.
In the final, Tsitsipas maintained a higher quality throughout than his junior Canadian opponent. He only dropped serve once in the second set when he was already a break of serve ahead. The number two seed however broke straight back ahead and went on to serve the title out.
Auger-Aliassime now has to rue two final defeats in as many weeks, after he was forced to settle for the runners up medal in Rotterdam two weeks ago. He lost 6-4 6-2 to world number nine Monfils. In fact, Sunday’s defeat to Tsitsipas marks the teenagers fifth tour final defeat, meaning he will have to search further for his debut title.
Just one place higher in the world rankings, world number five Daniil Medvedev was seeded top at the event in France’s south. After having to fight back from a set down to win his opening match against Italian teenager Jannik Sinner, the Russian was downed 6-4 6-0 by experienced Frenchman Gilles Simon in the round of 16.
It is the first time that 21 year old Tsitsipas has retained a tour title, after he failed in his only attempt to date in Stockholm last year.
Tsitsipas praised his final win speaking to the ATP, which would have pleased him after a shock defeat to world number 61 Aljaz Bedene in Rotterdam two weeks ago. He said: “I played a good quality of tennis today and I showed everyone what I am capable of,”
“Serving well, returning well, just being there behind every single ball, executing, dominating and being clever in my decision-making.”
The 2019 ATP World Tour Finals winner also praised his young opponent Auger-Aliassime. He said: “It’s great to be fighting on the court against you. I feel like you make me a better player and I hope I make you too.”
Elsewhere, Cristian Garin extended his unbeaten run to nine matches, as he won the clay court ATP 500 event in Rio de Janeiro. This title comes after he won the last competition he played at in Cordoba just three weeks ago.
The man from Chile has risen seven places in the ATP rankings to 18th, his current career highest.
After pulling out of last week’s event in Buenos Aires following his victory week in Cordoba, 23 year old Garin defeated unlikely finalist Gianluca Mager of Italy 7-6 7-5 to lift the crown.
25 year old Mager climbed 51 rankings places to 77th following his successful week. He pulled off the shock of the week after he defeated world number four and recent Australian Open runner up Dominic Thiem in the quarter final.
Garin dropped two set during the week, which saw him lift his fourth career title. After lifting the trophy he said: “I think this is a gift from all those years working hard, suffering. This is my dream. I’m enjoying it. I didn’t expect this ever in my life. I’m so happy.
In the third and final tournament of last week, American giant Reilly Opelka won his second ATP title, at Delray Beach in Florida.
22 year old Opelka beat world number 48 Yoshihito Nishioka 7-5 6-7 6-2 in the final, which came after he was forced to save a match point against former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic in the semi final.
Standing at 6’11’, Opelka won his debut title in New York just over a year ago. He has now moved back into the world’s top 40, ranked at 39. He will hope to chase down his current highest of 31st.