MARSEILLE, France — Second-seeded Andrey Rublev beat No. 3 Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-5, 7-6 (4) to win the Open 13 tournament, clinching his ninth career title and first for almost a year.
Since winning in Rotterdam in March last year, Rublev had lost three finals. He improved to 5-0 in indoor finals and 9-5 overall, while Auger-Aliassime dropped to 1-9 in finals.
The 21-year-old Canadian arrived in southern France in top form after beating Rublev in the semifinals and then upsetting top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2 in the Rotterdam final last Sunday.
It was his first title after losing his previous eight finals.
He led 2-0 in the first set against Rublev and squandered a set point in the 12th game of the second set.
“All the battles I have had with Felix since the first time back in 2018 have had drama,” the 24-year-old Rublev said. “All have had at least one set that went 7-6 and now he is one of the greatest players. Especially this season, he is on top now.”
Auger-Aliassime led the serving contest 12-9 in aces but Rublev showed again why he is considered one of the best returners and retrievers on the tour.
He played the shot of the match in the fifth game of the first set, returning a smash close to his body and turning it into a two-handed backhand winner.
“I had to increase my level otherwise I would have had no chance against Felix,” Rublev said. “I was thinking it would go to three sets. But somehow I was able to raise my level and in the end it was tough.”
DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.
The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.
Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.
“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”
Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.
J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.
John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.
DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.
Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.
Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.
The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.