Rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime admitted that former world No. 3 Marin Cilic was the better player in the Stuttgart final. Auger-Aliassime, ranked at No. 21 in the world, suffered a straight-set defeat in the Stuttgart final as Cilic won 7-6 (2) 6-2 to win his first title since 2018.
Auger-Aliassime has now played eight ATP finals but he has yet to win an ATP title. “Today I am not facing a final, I am facing Marin Cilic, it is two different things. There has been times when I have not played my best then I felt I was not playing well, but this time around, I felt like it was close.
But overall I think he was a better player overall," Auger-Aliassime said, per the ATP website.
Cilic handled Auger-Aliassime
Cilic failed to serve out for the first set in the 12th game but kept his focus and dominated the tie-break to win a tight first set.
Cilic then broke Auger-Aliassime in the eighth game of the second set, before serving out for the match in the following game. “It was a very important win. I played two semi-finals and did not win a title since 2018, also on grass at Queen’s.
Winning here brings out joy for me, good confidence and a good feeling,” Cilic said. "I felt like I was playing good tennis in these last few weeks. Winning here is a great way for me to continue my form and it gives me a good sign for Queen’s and Wimbledon.
It is a joy to win my first title with my family here for the first time at any tournament. “Experience plays a big part, especially on grass. The conditions can be difficult, the court plays quite quick. I felt this was a good chance for me to give it my all, keep my intensity. Even though some games were up and others down, that was a big part of my victory today."