Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime loses in French Open boys final | iNFOnews

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Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime loses in French Open boys final

Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime returns the ball in the boys' final of the French Open tennis tournament against France’s Geoffrey Blancaneaux at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Sunday, June 5, 2016. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
June 05, 2016 - 11:51 AM

PARIS - Canadian tennis phenom Felix Auger-Aliassime was just one point away from his first Grand Slam on Sunday in the French Open boys singles final.

The 15-year-old from Montreal was unable to accomplish the feat, falling 1-6, 6-3, 8-6 to unseeded Geoffrey Blancaneaux of France at Roland Garros.

"I was devastated after I lost the match point," said Auger-Aliassime. "But after speaking with my coaches, I realize that this was a very good experience."

Auger-Aliassime would have become the first Canadian to win a junior Grand Slam title since Filip Peliwo won both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2012.

The 11th-seeded Auger-Aliassime was the favourite in the final against Blancaneaux. He started the match with powerful groundstrokes and a strong serve — easily winning the first set.

Blancaneaux, who had never won a match in any of the Grand Slam tournaments he entered before the French Open, broke the Canadians' serve to take a 2-0 lead in the second. The Frenchman went on to take the second set with a combination of crafty groundstrokes and exceptional court coverage.

Both players broke each other in a close third set. Auger-Aliassime had two match points while leading 6-5 and Blancaneaux serving but couldn't capitalize. Auger-Aliassime missed an easy forehand on the first match point before Blancaneaux delivered an ace on the second attempt.

Auger-Aliassime had one more match point denied by Blancaneaux, who eventually held serve at 6-6, then broke the Canadian to take the lead at 7-6. Blancaneaux capitalized on his first match point opportunity to take the title.

"He really pushed me to the limit," said Blancaneaux, who had beaten Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., in the semifinals Saturday.

Auger-Aliassime, who won the U.S. Open doubles title in 2015 with Shapovalov, was staying positive post-match.

"At 15 years old, I realize my potential and what I am able of accomplishing.

"I hope to win a title like this one in Paris soon."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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