Montreal teen Félix Auger-Aliassime is still looking for his first ATP Tour title after a 6-4, 7-6 (11) loss to Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the final of the Mercedes Cup on Sunday.
Auger-Aliassime had his chances in the marathon second-set tiebreaker, but Berrettini fended off five set points before toughing out the win.
It was Auger-Aliassime’s first tournament since returning a left abductor problem forced him to miss the French Open.
It was also the first ATP tournament on grass for Auger-Aliassime, who was seeded seventh in Stuttgart. The 21st-ranked rising star previously reached championship matches in Rio de Janeiro in February and the Lyon Open in May — both on clay.
Auger-Aliassime skipped last year’s ATP grass season to play in Challenger Tour events on clay.
Berrettini won all 50 of his service games during the week in Stuttgart. He did not face a break point against Auger-Aliassime.
The Italian won his third ATP title and his first on grass.
Auger-Aliassime progressed to the final when Milos Raonic on Thornhill, Ont., withdrew ahead of their semi-final because of back problems.
Also Sunday, Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., and India’s Rohan Bopanna were defeated 7-5, 6-3 in the men’s doubles final by Australia’s John Peers and Bruno Soares of Brazil.
Garcia outlasts Vekic to win Nottingham Open
Caroline Garcia of France defeated former champion Donna Vekic 2-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) to win her first title of the year at the Nottingham Open on Sunday.
Top-seeded Garcia, who finished her 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 semi-final victory over American Jennifer Brady earlier on Sunday, recovered after losing the first set to outlast the 2017 winner over more than 2 1/2 hours.
It was the 28th-ranked Garcia’s seventh career title and her second on grass after her 2016 win in Mallorca.
Both players hit seven aces and Vekic converted all four of her break points, with Garcia going 2-for-2 on break points.
The rain finally held off after ravaging much of the rest of the tournament. The opening two days were completely washed out before organizers decided to switch the first- and second-round matches indoors, while Vekic’s quarter-final against Kristina Mladenovic started on grass but had to be completed indoors on Friday.
The Associated Press
’Life-changing’ operation rekindles returning Murray’s love of tennis
Andy Murray has said that surgery helped him rediscover his passion for tennis as he prepares to make his comeback at Queen’s Club this week.
The 32-year-old will feature in the men’s doubles alongside Spaniard Feliciano Lopez on Wednesday, five months after undergoing a hip-resurfacing operation.
“There have been a number of times over the past 18 months where I did want to stop,” he said.
“I didn’t want to play anymore. I was getting no enjoyment out of tennis at all, whether that be training, practice, matches.
“I wasn’t bothered about winning matches either because it wasn’t fun. Now I like playing tennis, getting out on the court and hitting balls. I want to keep playing if I can because I enjoy it.”
Murray said at the Australian Open in January that he intended to retire after Wimbledon due to crippling pain that stopped him from doing everyday tasks like pulling on socks.
The three-time Grand Slam winner admitted that the progress he has made since then has been better than anticipated.