Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime has win streak end in semifinal of Paris Masters

PARIS — Felix Auger-Aliassime's win streak has come to an end.

The Montreal native fell to Denmark's Holger Rune 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday in the semifinals of the Paris Masters.

Auger-Aliassime won 16 matches in a row, including three ATP Tour titles, before the loss in Paris. He beat Rune last Sunday in the Swiss Indoors final for his third consecutive title.

Auger-Aliassime struggled to keep up with Rune on Saturday, who relied heavily on his returns to outlast the Canadian.

"I saw some statistic that (my) backhand is going well in this tournament,” said Rune. "So I tried to use that a little bit, especially against Felix who has such a great forehand and serve."

Auger-Aliassime gave Rune credit after the match.

"He kind of exposed weaknesses in my game," said Auger-Aliassime. "He was just playing so aggressively without missing. I haven't seen, or I haven't played, many players that were this aggressive and hitting that hard, that deep.”

Auger-Aliassime's win streak has earned him a spot in the ATP Finals starting Nov. 13 in Turin, Italy. It's the first time he has qualified for the elite season-ending tournament.

The 22-year-old Auger-Aliassime has also played himself into contention for the Lionel Conacher Award, the Canadian Press's honour for male athlete of the year.

The 19-year-old Rune will play his first Masters final against either six-time Paris Masters champion Novak Djokovic or fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas. They were playing their semifinal later Saturday.

Rune, who won both of his career titles this year, reached his fourth straight final of the season.

Contesting his first Masters semifinal, he won 86 per cent of his points on first serve and faced no break points. He ended Auger-Aliassime's 16-match winning run and the 22-year-old Canadian's bid for a fourth straight title.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2022.

The Canadian Press