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Stefanos Tsitsipas smashes his way through to final in Marseille

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS

Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik 7-5 6-3 to reach the final of the Open 13 in Marseille, France, without dropping a set throughout the tournament thus far.

The world number six had never faced the Kazakh in a tour-level event before, though they met four times as juniors, with each winning twice. Tsitsipas served for the first set up 5-3, but the world number 55 broke Tsitsipas and held serve in the subsequent game to level the score at 5-5. Nevertheless, the Greek ultimately took the set 7-5. One break of serve was then all Tsitsipas needed in the second set, prevailing 6-3 to reach an ATP final for the tenth time in his career.

Tsitsipas is the second seed this week in Marseille and therefore received a bye in the opening round. In the second round, he defeated Sweden’s Mikael Ymer (world number 75) 6-1 6-3. In the quarterfinals, he beat Canada’s Vasek Pospisil (world number 98) 7-5 6-3, before beating Bublik in today’s semifinal encounter.

The 21-year-old from Athens will face Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime (world number 18) in Sunday’s final. Auger-Aliassime leads the head-to-head 2-1 (and 5-1 when including junior matches), but Tsitsipas won their last meeting in straight sets. The Canadian has never won an ATP title before and holds an 0-4 record in finals. On the other hand, Tsitsipas will be looking to win his fifth career title. It should be noted that the Greek holds a 3-0 record in indoor finals, as well as a 3-0 record in finals at the ATP 250 level.

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