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Tennis Canada’s Félix Auger-Aliassime upsets top seed to advance to Lyon Open final

Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime will play Saturday’s final against unseeded Benoit Paire of France.

Gregorio Borgia/The Associated Press

Canadian teen Félix Auger-Aliassime is heading to the final of the Lyon Open.

The No. 4 seed from Montreal edged top-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 in semi-final action on Friday at the ATP Tour 250 clay-court event.

The win sends the 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime into Saturday’s final against unseeded Benoît Paire of France.

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Now ranked 28th in the world, Auger-Aliassime should have some momentum going into next week’s French Open, the second Grand Slam of the season.

“I came here [to Lyon] because I thought maybe something good could happen because I felt good two years in a row in this city," said Auger-Aliassime, who won Challenger tournaments across the street in 2017 and 2018. “And here I am in the finals – and I still haven’t lost here.

“It’s been tough matches this week, but I’ve been able to get through every time against tough opponents.”

Lyon will mark Auger-Aliassime’s second final on clay this year. He lost in the Rio Open final against Laslo Djere of Serbia in February.

Friday’s win was Auger-Aliassime’s second against the 18th-ranked Basilashvili this year.

Auger-Aliassime won 83 per cent of points on first serve, 13 per cent higher than his opponent’s clip.

The Canadian also saved seven of nine break points for Basilashvili.

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The win will push Auger-Aliassime to 22nd in the world rankings next week

No Canadian has won an ATP Tour title since Milos Raonic captured the Brisbane, Australia, tournament in January, 2016.

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