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Melbourne: FAA or Evans will claim first ATP title; Sinner stays hot
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Dan Evans will battle for the Murray River Open title, while Jannik Sinner and Stefano Travaglia set an all-Italian final at the Great Ocean Road Open on Saturday in Melbourne.
Published Feb 06, 2021
Felix Auger-Aliassime is hoping that the seventh time’s a charm, having fallen short in the previous six finals he’s played. The youngster was ruthless against Corentin Moutet on Saturday, 6-2, 6-1, earning the right to play for the Murray River Open trophy.
“I really was able to, from the start, do what I wanted to do, which is be dominant,” Auger-Aliassime said in his post-match press conference. “I was able to return well from the second game, mixed up my position a little bit, was able to hit hard, return well... I served well throughout the whole match.”
The youngest player inside the Top 30, the 20-year-old Canadian did not face a break point in his semifinal match as he kept his foot on the accelerator from start to finish. He won 25 of 27 first-serve points versus Moutet’s 16 of 28 success rate, and fired a total of eight aces.
“Sometimes it's tough to keep your focus when you're leading like the great royal every I said, so I was able to do that really well again.”
Standing across the net Sunday will be Daniel Evans, who produced his own routine performance against Jeremy Chardy, 6-2, 6-2, in the other semifinal. Like Auger-Aliassime, Evans is seeking his first ATP trophy, having made the trip to two prior finals.
“Yeah, it would be great to win it, especially in Australia,” Evans responded when asked what it would mean to win his first title. “I've played pretty good in Australia. I really like being in Australia. It's a pretty cool place, very similar to England for me. It's a good place. Be nice, but if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen.”
Meanwhile, fellow Italians Jannik Sinner and Stefano Travaglia will battle for the right to become the Great Ocean Road Open champion.
Fourth-seeded Sinner rallied past No. 2 seed Karen Khachanov, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4), saving a match point at 5-6, 30-40 in the final set to win his ninth consecutive match. The 19-year-old ended his 2020 season by triumphing over Vasek Pospisil in November's Sofia final for his first ATP crown.
Travaglia continued his run of form by defeating Thiago Monteiro, 6-4, 6-4, to move into his first tour-level final. The 29-year-old has knocked out seeds Sam Querrey (No. 10), Alexander Bublik (No. 8) and Hubert Hurkacz (No. 3) this week.