Tennis·Queen's Club

Auger-Aliassime falls just short of another final with loss to Lopez

Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime fell just short of reaching his fourth ATP final of the season, losing in three sets to veteran Feliciano Lopez on Saturday in the semifinals of the Queen's Club tournament.

Canadian teenager drop semifinal match in 3 sets

Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime reacts during his semifinal loss against Spain's Feliciano Lopez at the Queen's Club tournament on Saturday. (Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime fell just short of reaching his fourth ATP final of the season, losing in three sets to veteran Feliciano Lopez on Saturday in the semifinals of the Queen's Club tournament.

Lopez dropped the first set in a tiebreak before rallying for a 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4 win to advance to the final of the ATP 500 grass-court tournament.

Auger-Aliassime saved four match points in the third set to trim his deficit to 5-4, but Lopez replied with a quick service game to seal it.

Lopez will face France's Gilles Simon for the title Sunday.

The Spaniard converted on just 2-of-10 break points on the Montreal teen throughout the match, which lasted two hours 19 minutes, but saved all eight of his own break points.

Auger-Aliassime hit 25 aces compared to Lopez's 15 and will have to wait before cracking the top 20 in the rankings. A win would have been enough for the Canadian, who is a career-high No. 21.

The players held serve throughout the first set before Auger-Aliassime earned a mini break in the tiebreaker to go up 4-2. He then hit the winning point with Lopez skidding and tumbling across the court. Lopez took a 3-0 lead after an early break in the second set, and broke Auger-Aliassime at 3-2 in the third.

Auger-Aliassime made the finals of the Stuttgart Open last weekend in Germany — also on grass — before losing 6-4, 7-6 (11) to Italy's Matteo Berrettini.

The young rising star previously reached championship matches in Rio de Janeiro in February and the Lyon Open in May, both on clay.

WATCH | Auger-Aliassime fall to Lopez in semis:

Match Wrap: Auger-Aliassime falls to Lopez in Queen's Club semis

3 years ago
Duration 1:57
2017 champion Feliciano Lopez beat Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Queen's Club tournament in London.

Good on grass

Auger-Aliassime skipped last year's ATP grass season to play in Challenger Tour events on clay.

Queen's Club was the 18-year-old's second grass tournament, and second tournament overall, since returning from a left abductor problem that forced him to miss the French Open.

Saturday's loss dropped Auger-Aliassime to 23-14 this season while Lopez improved to 4-8.

Lopez, ranked 113th in the world, was a wild-card entry at Queen's Club. He also played doubles with former world No. 1 Andy Murray, who was making his return from hip surgery in January.

Auger-Aliassime upset world No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals on Friday to earn his spot in the semis. Lopez advanced to the semifinals by edging Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., on Friday.

Saturday's match saw the biggest age differential in an ATP semifinal or final since the 43-year-old Ken Rosewall defeated 23-year-old American Pat Dupre to reach the Hong Kong Grand Prix final in 1977.

Lopez turned pro in 1997, three years before Auger-Aliassime was born.

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