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Auger-Aliassime goes back-to-back, Musetti and Rune also win titles

It took Felix Auger-Aliassime nine finals before he captured his first ATP title. After finally getting over the hump, the floodgates may have opened.

Auger-Aliassime has now won three of his last four finals, including back-to-back titles the last two weeks in Florence and Antwerp. The ninth-ranked Canadian triumphed at the European Open on Sunday afternoon by beating Sebastian Korda 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 25 minutes.

“It’s another great week,” said Auger-Aliassime, whose first winner’s trophy came in Rotterdam earlier this year. “I played some great tennis and really fought hard to stand here in front of you today, so big shoutout and thank you to my team. My coach and my physio are here and my whole family came all week, so thank you very much.

“It wouldn’t be so special of course [if it wasn’t] in front of all of you. That’s why we play tennis–to play in front of big numbers of people like this on center court, so thank you all for coming in big numbers this week.”

The fans who came out in Naples got exactly what they wanted in the form of an all-Italian championship match between Matteo Berrettini and Lorenzo Musetti. With Berrettini struggling due to a foot injury, Musetti capitalized on his opportunity and prevailed 7-6(5), 6-2, after two hours and one minute.

“It was a really tough first set,” the 20-year-old reflected. “Very long and [no breaks]. Matteo is [a competitor]; he was not 100 percent physically. His capacity to stay until the end, to fight until the end, was a big problem for me to solve.

“Today I think I played not the best tennis because I think we were both really emotional, really nervous and there was a lot of tension, but in the important moments I played better. It’s really nice to be here with my family, with the crowd, and it’s a really big win for me and an important moment for my career.”

Musetti, who lifted his second ATP trophy, wasn’t the youngest winner this week. That distinction belongs to 19-year-old Holger Rune, who upset Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 at the Stockholm Open. Like Auger-Aliassime and Musetti, Rune entered this season with zero titles and is now a multi-time champion on the ATP Tour. He previously triumphed in Munich.

“It was an unbelievable match from my side,” the 25th-ranked Dane assured. “I knew it was going to be difficult, but I just tried to stick to the game-plan. I had to play my best tennis today and it was good that I could find the level. I am super happy.

“It was very close to perfection. I was making a lot of returns and playing pretty well behind my serve. Stefanos is an amazing player, who always makes it difficult. It was a super fun match to play.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.