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Auger-Aliassime vs Paire ATP Lyon Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Can Auger-Aliassime claim his maiden tour-level title?

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 25 May 2019
  • Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Benoit Paire is live from Lyon on Saturday, 25 May from 2:30pm local time/ 1:30pm BST
  • First meeting between Auger-Aliassime and Paire
Felix Auger-Aliassime (PA Sport)

Will Felix Auger-Aliassime claim his maiden tour-level title when he takes on the mercurial Benoit Paire in the Lyon final on Saturday?

Canadian sensation, Auger-Aliassime has already attained many career milestones this season- he reached his first ATP final in Rio in February, scored his first top-ten win over Stefanos Tsitsipas at Indian Wells, and made a Masters 1000 semi-final in Miami- all of which have propelled him into the top 30 from a starting position of 106th in January. Can the world No. 28 tick another box in his rapid rise by winning his first ATP title?

Auger-Aliassime was particularly impressive in South America earlier in the season, beating some very fine clay-courters- including the seasoned Fabio Fognini and Pablo Cuevas in Rio before falling to Laslo Djere in the final. He defeated Cuevas (again), and Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the following week to make the quarter finals in Sao Paolo before being stopped by Djere for the second straight week.

Given the form he showed on South American clay, and his subsequent performances at Indian Wells and Miami, Auger-Aliassime looked set for a very fruitful spell on European clay, but it didn't quite happen for him in big tournaments, as he went 3-4 between Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome. To be fair, those four losses were against Alexander Zverev, Kei Nishikori, Rafael Nadal and Borna Coric...

He's picked up consecutive wins for the first time since Miami in Lyon, battling past John Millman, 7-6 7-5, Steve Johnson 6-4 4-6 6-4, and top seed, Nikoloz Basilashvili 2-6 7-6 6-4 to take hit the 20-win mark for the season, and reach his second final of the year.

"I can't ask for anything better. It was tough matches throughout the week, but I think I've been able to get through every time against tough opponents," Auger-Aliassime said. "I'm glad with the work I did and hopefully I can push one more time."

Can he push past Benoit Paire and claim his maiden career title on Saturday?

Paire is seeking his second title of the season, having claimed the Marrakech crown in April- his second career title, and first since July 2015.

The Frenchman arrived Lyon on a three-match losing streak, but he's put together four good wins this week, taking out Mackenzie McDonald, Pablo Cuevas, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz to reach the final. He's had to battle hard for his spot, as he needed three sets against McDonald and Shapovalov, the latter going into a final set tie break, but he produced his best performance of the week against Fritz in the semis, winning a very impressive 33 of 34 first serve points (and a not so impressive 6 of 21 on his second serve) en route a 66-minute 6-4 6-2 victory.

Paire opened his season with a quarter final in Pune, but he won just two matches in his next eight tournaments, losing opening matches in Auckland, the Australian Open, Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami during that run. He stepped down to the Challenger level and made a final in Marbella, and that prompted better results on the ATP Tour as he won in Marrakech just a couple of weeks later, and made the third round in Barcelona. Back-to-back losses in Munich and Rome followed, but he's flicked the switch again in Lyon to move into his seventh career final.

Can the world No. 51 hold off Auger-Aliassime in the first meeting between the pair to claim his third tour-level title? Or will the young Canadian strike another objective off his bucket list and walk away with his first ATP trophy?

"I came here because I thought maybe something good could happen", said Auger-Aliassime, who has won Challenger titles in Lyon in each of the last two seasons. "I felt good two years in a row in this city and here I am in the final, still haven't lost in this city, so it feels pretty good."

It's a difficult one to call. Auger-Aliassime is the steadier performer- you basically know what you'll get with him- but Paire is a lot more unpredictable, and can switch very quickly between genius and, shall we say, forgettable. I actually think Paire, with his blend of power and creativity on this surface, will win this if he is in the mood, but his mercurial character makes him such a hard man to back! Auger-Aliassime, I imagine, will target the Paire forehand all day long, and that greater discipline and clarity could lead him to a first tour title.

Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Benoit Paire is live from Lyon on Saturday, 25 May from 2:30pm local time/ 1:30pm BST

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Auger-Aliassime vs Paire ATP Lyon Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Can Auger-Aliassime claim his maiden tour-level title?

Felix Auger-Aliassime contests his second final of the season when he plays Benoit Paire in Lyon on Saturday. Can the Canadian teen claim his first ATP title? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online

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