Canada's Auger-Aliassime defends Swiss Indoors title with win over Hurkacz

BASEL, Switzerland — Defending champion Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Poland's Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) on Sunday to win the Swiss Indoors for his first ATP Tour title of the season.

Auger-Aliassime, from Montreal, completed the victory in one hour 52 minutes. He had a 13-12 edge in aces and lost just nine service points over both sets.

"I’m definitely back," Auger-Aliassime said in his on-court interview. "I let my racket talk. That's always been the motto of my career. I've had the conviction that I can be a top player since I'm a kid, but there were many doubts this year about my performances and why.

"I’m happy that I was able to prove to everybody that I still belong among the best players in the world, that I can play this level. I never doubted it, but it's good to confirm it on the court.”

The 23-year-old Auger-Aliassime won four tournaments last year and reached a career-high sixth in the world rankings. But injuries have been a problem at times this season and his ranking has slipped to No. 19.

The Canadian lost his first eight ATP Tour finals but has won five of his last six. Auger-Aliassime dropped only one set over the week.

The 11th-ranked Hurkacz, who has won two titles this year, appeared hobbled by a left leg injury at times in the match. Auger-Aliassime, who beat Denmark's Holger Rune in the 2022 final, converted his first match point with a cross-court backhand.

“It's been a tricky year overall, but this feels extra special, even more than last year," Auger-Aliassime said. "I think with the first title (of the year, it's) the sweetest for sure. So I'm going to enjoy this one."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2023.

The Canadian Press