Felix Auger-Aliassime has not had the year he would have wanted – he had lost his first matches in nine different tournaments. He had fallen all the way to ATP No. 19 after being ranked as high as No. 6 in 2022. 2022 was actually a breakout year for Auger-Aliassime as he won four titles, the only titles of his career so far. But there is also a trend to the titles he does win so maybe what he did at the Swiss Indoors shouldn’t be so shocking after all.
All four of his titles have come indoors and on hard courts. Auger-Aliassime won the Swiss Indoors last year too so he is basically making the tournament his equal to Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open and Rafael Nadal’s French Open. In repeating as champion, Auger-Aliassime became the first Canadian to repeat as a tourney champion since Milos Raonic won the San Jose Open in 2011 and 2012.
His opponent, Hubert Hurkacz, just seemed off in the final. While the Canadian won the match 7-6(3) 7-6(5), he felt in total control. Hurkacz kept the match close through guile and want, but his winning a set never truly seemed like a real possibility, especially not winning two of three sets against Auger-Aliassime.
Felix Auger-Aliassime is the king of the Swiss Indoors
Hurkacz has a bombastic serve, but Auger-Aliassime was able to outserve him on Sunday. The Canadian finished with 13 aces to the Pole’s 12 and Auger-Aliassime won a ridiculous 42 of his 45 first serves. He also won 15 of his 19 second serves. That is the kind of thing Hurkacz does when he is playing well.
Hurkacz seemed tired. This could partially be due to his winning the Shanghai Masters a couple of weeks ago and then traveling to Europe and making the final of the Swiss Indoors. Had Hurkacz won the tournament, the 500 points he would have gained would have potentially got him into the ATP Finals, but that seems like a long shot now.
As for Auger-Aliassime, he might not have had the best year, but he is only 23 years old and has the versatility to compete for many titles. Maybe 2024 will be kinder to him after finishing 2023 strong.