Felix Auger-Aliassime loses to Tsitsipas in Open 13 Provence final

MARSEILLE, France — Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime has dropped an ATP Tour final for the second week in a row.

The No. 7 seed from Montreal lost 6-3, 6-4 to No. 2 seed and defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the Open 13 Provence tennis tournament final Sunday.

The 19-year-old Auger-Aliassime also lost in a tournament final last week in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He is now 0-5 in finals in his career.

“I feel disappointed,” the Canadian said. “You never like losing finals, but now it has been five so it is in my mind.

“It is tough, but I think it is just going to make me a better player. It is going to build my character and I am going to overcome this challenge one day. I’ll keep working towards that goal. I am working to win bigger tournaments and to achieve even better things, so I am not going to stop here.”

The 21-year-old Tsitsipas how has five ATP singles titles on his resume.

Auger-Aliassime has now lost two in a row against Tsitsipas after winning his first five matches against the Greek player (two in the pro ranks, three as juniors).

Tsitsipas saved four of five break points and won 78 per cent of points when he got his first serve in, 11 per cent better than Auger-Aliassime.

Meanwhile, Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil captured his seventh career ATP doubles title. Pospisil and Nicolas Mahut of France beat No. 2 seeds Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Nikola Mektic of Croatia 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday.

It was the second title in three events for Pospisil and Mahut but their first appearance since winning the 2016 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

“It was an incredible week,” Pospisil said. “Honestly, I thought we played really clean the whole way through from

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Simona Halep wins Dubai tiebreaker to secure 20th title

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Top-seeded Simona Halep won her 20th singles title after prevailing in a third-set tiebreaker to beat Elena Rybakina 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the Dubai Championships final on Saturday.

No. 2-ranked Halep was 3-1 down in the third set. The Romanian broke to lead 6-5, but Rybakina’s powerful hitting forced the tiebreaker. Rybakina led 4-3 but Halep converted the only match point.

“It was amazing,” Halep said of the 2 1/2-hour final. “(Rybakina) fought till the end. She didn’t give up any balls. It was really tough mentally. The pressure was very high. But I want it badly, so that’s why I fought till the end.”

The Wimbledon champion won her second Dubai title.

Rybakina knocked out Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in earlier rounds, and was playing her fourth final of the young WTA season. She’s lost three of them.

Rybakina is projected to rise two spots to a career-high No. 17 in Monday’s rankings update.

“She’s strong. She’s tall. She has power,” Halep said. “I think she’s really good to get into the top 10 very soon.”

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