Felix Auger-Aliassime moved to within one victory of his third straight title as the Canadian upset world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday at the Swiss Indoors.
The 12th win in a row for the champion over the last two weeks in Florence and Antwerp has yet to be broken at this edition of the event being staged for the first time since the retirement last month of 10-time hometown champion Roger Federer.
FAA was untouchable against Alcaraz, who is still searching for his first title since taking over the top ranking spot after beating casper Ruud in the US Open final.
Auger-Alaiassime solidified his position as the chase for the last few spots in next month’s eight-man ATP Finals is decided next week at Paris Bercy.
The Canadian ranked sixth broke once in the opening set and twice in the second as he reached the final in 82 minutes over his teenaged opponent.
“It’s been a fantastic week, very close to perfect,” the winner said. “I’ve been serving amazing and haven’t been broken once.
I’m playing some great tennis and I’ve been able to beat the best in the world.
“I’m happy with my level, hopefully I can go all the way.”
The Montreal-born player credits at least some of his recent indoor success to growing up in a cold, snowy climate.
“Spending half the year indoors is paying off now. indoors has been fortunate for me – I’ve been playing a lot of great tennis in recent weeks.
“I’m looking towards what will come next. I can play at this level on and one and keep going this way.”
Alcaraz, leading the ATP with five titles this season, managed just one winner in the opening set as his game all but collapsed.
He has now lost all three of his matches against the Canadian.
FAA will play the Sunday final against Danish teen Holder Rune, a 7-6(1), 7-6(6) winner over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.
The youngster saved four set points in the second set tiebreaker to take the win in straight sets after two hours.
It will be a battle of win streaks with Rune unbeaten in his last nine outings – three less than his opponent.
Neither Rune nor Auger-Aliassime have lost serve here but Rune knows something has to give.
“One of us will be broken tomorrow – I hope it’s not me.
The youngster produced more than 40 winners against RBA, fresh form a Friday win over Stan wawrinka.
“It was brutal, a tough match with long rallies. I played as aggressive as I could and took every chance,” Rune said .
“I though we were going to a third set but I’m happy I managed to stay focused.”