Marin Cilic won his first title in three years on Sunday at the ATP Stuttgart event to leave Felix Auger-Aliassime winless in an eighth career final.
The 21-year-old Canadian has lost all of them in straight sets and went down to Cilic 7-6(2), 6-3 in less than two hours..
The 47th-ranked Croat who won the 2014 US Open crown, lifted the last of his now-19 trophies three years ago this week at Queen’s club, London, in the Wimbledon run-up, saving a match point against NOvak Djokovic.
Stuttgart was the 33rd final for Cilic, who now stands 19-14 and 3-3 on grass after also winning Queen’s in 2012; he played the Wimbledon final in 2017 against Roger Federer.
Cilic is the lowest-ranked champion here since No. 85 Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2011.
He fired a modest seven aces on the grass while forcing the Canadian to save eight of ten break points.
Canada’s FAA was defeated for a second straight edition at the Weissenhof club after losing the 2019 final to Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.
Defeat leaves the finalist in an ever-deepening hole and just one finals loss short of equalling the all-time nadir of Julien Benneteau, who retired at the end of 2018 with an 0-10 finals record.
Canadians have now lost their last 10 ATP singles finals, standing 1-19 at that level since Milos Raonic defeated Roger Federer for the trophy at 2016 Brisbane.