Rublev edges Auger-Aliassime in Marseille to claim ninth title
Andrey Rublev won his ninth career title on Sunday by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) in the Marseille final.
"All the battles I have had with Felix since the first time back in 2018 have had drama," Rublev said in his on-court interview. "All have had at least one set that went 7-6 and now he is one of the greatest players."
The Russian, ranked seventh in the world, took revenge on the Canadian who won their meeting in the Rotterdam semi-final last week on the way to a first career title, after losing all eight previous finals he had played.
"I've had two good weeks," said the Canadian. "I hope to win more titles."
Rublev has now won all the five hard-court finals he has contested but has had a bad run over the last 12 months.
Since winning in Rotterdam last March, Rublev had lost finals in Monte-Carlo, Cincinnati and Halle.
Third-seeded Auger-Aliassime broke second seed Rublev in the second game of the match, but Rublev broke back at once and broke again in the 12th game to take the set.
In the second set, Rublev failed to serve out for the match at 5-4, but saved a set point in his next service game to force a tiebreak which he won to clinch the match in one hour and 57 minutes.
"From 5-4 he started to play even better and I was thinking it would go to three sets," Rublev said. "But somehow I was able to raise my level and in the end it was tough."
The 24-year-old Russian was due back on court at 1600 GMT to contest the doubles final alongside Ukrainian Denys Molchanov against doubles specialists Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Ben McLachlan of Japan.