Felix Fights off Korda to Edge Closer to Turin

Felix Auger-Aliassime continued his good form this week in Antwerp, beating a strong Sebastian Korda 6-3 6-4 in a determined performance to cap off an excellent week, which saw Auger-Aliassime strengthen his bid to earn a spot at the ATP World Tour Finals.

Sebastian Korda, son of Grand Slam champion Peter Korda, has been trying to emulate some of his father’s achievements, and has looked ever closer to doing so this year, showing better displays week on week. To reach the final, Korda had overcame a resurgent Dominic Thiem in a thrilling 3-set battle, culminating in a final set tiebreak which Korda edged 7-4, having stayed more solid than a nervous-looking Thiem. However, it was Korda’s turn to look nervy in the final, with his trusty serve and net game deserting him the key moments. Conversely, Auger-Aliassime used his big match experience (mixed with a little bit of talent) to navigate what could have been a tricky opponent with relative ease.

“It’s another great week. 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,” said Auger-Aliassime, “My coach and my physio [are] here and my whole family that came all week, so thank you very much, it’s been a great week.

“It wouldn’t be so special of course [if we weren’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 centre court, so thank you all for coming in big numbers this week.”

Auger-Aliassime has now opened up a 340-point lead over his nearest rival Taylor Fritz and holds the 8th and final qualification spot for Turin, for the time being. Auger-Aliassime will now look to build on his lead in Basel next week, where he faces a tough opener against Marc-Andrea Huesler. Taylor Fritz will hope that Auger-Aliassime is fatigued from a long week in Antwerp, and will himself look to have a strong week in Vienna.

Guadalajara promised to be a decisive week in the race to the WTA Finals and it proved to be, with the field completely set. Kasatkina, Sabalenka and Garcia all confirmed their appearance in Fort Worth with strong performances this week and will all look to build on a good year with a strong finish at the WTA Finals. Garcia seems to have finally fulfilled on the promise she displayed early in her career and will look to continue her momentum in her maiden Tour Finals appearance. Swiatek will, or course, be the favourite, but will certainly not have things her own way in a very strong field.