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Rune gets revenge on Auger-Aliassime to reach first Masters final

By AFP - Nov 05,2022 - Last updated at Nov 05,2022

Denmark's Holger Rune returns the ball during the men's singles semifinal tennis match between Denmark's Holger Rune and Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime on day 6 of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 — Paris Masters (Paris Bercy) — indoor tennis tournament at The AccorHotels Arena in Paris on Saturday (AFP photo)

PARIS — Danish teenager Holger Rune defeated the in-form Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday to reach the first Masters final of his career in Paris.

Rune avenged his loss to Auger-Aliassime in last weekend's final in Basel. He will take on defending champion Novak Djokovic for the title in the French capital.

"I lost to Felix last week in two sets, beat him this week in two sets. I learned a lot from last week, and trying to do a lot differently today. I'm super happy that it worked," said Rune.

The 19-year-old is through to his fourth successive final. He beat Tsitsipas to lift the trophy in Stockholm last month after finishing as the runner-up in Sofia.

"You're always a bit more nervous when it's the final because it's so close to winning the tournament," said Rune.

"It's going to be super tough... For me it's just really about playing my game because that's what can get me the closest to winning tomorrow."

A quarter-finalist at this year's French Open, Rune collected his fourth straight victory over a top-10 player this week by ending Auger-Aliassime's 16-match winning run.

The Canadian was attempting to become the first man to win four tournaments in as many weeks since Ivan Lendl swept five over a five-week span in 1981.

Auger-Aliassime paid the price for a hesitant swinging volley after a gentle looping return from Rune as he conceded the lone break in the third game of the opening set.

Rune then broke the eighth seed twice in succession to start the second set, inflicting a first defeat on Auger-Aliassime since his first-round loss at the Astana Open a month ago.

Having arrived in Paris with just three wins at the Masters level, Rune began his run to the final by saving three match points to beat three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round.

He then took down Hubert Hurkacz followed by Andrey Rublev before seeing off Carlos Alcaraz as the World No. 1 retired with injury while trailing by a set on Friday.

"Often it's like this. You're on the edge to lose and then you go deep in the tournament. Hopefully I can go all the way," said Rune.

Rune is set to climb to a new career high of 12th after reaching the final. He will break into the top 10 for the first time if he wins the title.

Djokovic is bidding for a record-extending seventh Paris crown and 39th Masters triumph.

He has won the past eight meetings with Tsitsipas and leads 9:2 in head to head meetings. Tsitsipas made his first semifinal appearance at this event.

The Greek fifth seed has a tour-leading 60 wins this season. He has reached seven finals in 2022 which is joint most alongside Alcaraz.

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