Alejandro Tabilo Claims First ATP Tour Title of His Career at ATP Auckland Classic

From qualifying to the crown… Alejandro Tabilo is celebrating a remarkable week. 

The 26-year-old Chilean professional tennis player wrapped up the most extraordinary week of his career on Saturday when he emerged from the qualifying rounds to beat Taro Daniel 6-2, 7-5 in the final of ATP Auckland Classic, claiming the first title of his career.

Alejandro TabiloTabilo came through two rounds of qualifying and three rounds of the main draw.

He avoided second-seeded Cameron Norrie in the quarterfinals when Norrie withdrew with a wrist injury and beat sixth-seeded Arthur Fils in the semifinals to reach his second ATP Tour final.

Tabilo then dominated the final, serving 10 aces and keeping Daniel constantly on the defensive with his powerful left-hand forehands.

“It honestly feels surreal,” Tabilo said. “I feel happy and very emotional.

“Even my coach [Guillermo Gomez] didn’t have a visa and we applied in the quarterfinals and we got it yesterday and he came from Melbourne because he was waiting for me in Australia. So crazy, crazy.”

Japanese American Daniel also had an outstanding week as he made his way to a final between unseeded players.

Daniel had only bad memories of the Auckland tournament after being beaten last year in the final round of qualifying in a tournament plagued by rain. His reluctant decision to return this year paid off when he beat top-seeded Ben Shelton in the semifinals to reach his second career final after Istanbul in 2018.

But on Saturday he came up against a player on a roll, hardened by his many matches in Auckland. He fought hard to keep in the match, but Tabilo always was on top, breaking Daniel’s serve in the sixth and eighth games of the first set and the 12th game of the second.

It ended a tough run for the 82nd-ranked Tabilo.

“Last year was tough. Even two years ago we made the finals of Cordoba and from there we were going up,” Tabilo said. “Then we had a little stress fracture in my arm and we had to stop that year and I had to work back up.

“There were a lot of injuries last year also and now with the whole team, with the recovery, with the food, with my family and my girlfriend also supporting me … it’s been a crazy ride.”

Both players now move on to the Australian Open, where Daniel will play Chris Eubanks in the first round and Tabilo will play American qualifier Aleksandar Kovacevic.

Marcos Giron Upsets No. 8 Seed Felix Auger-Aliassime at Japan Open to Reach First ATP 500 Semifinal

Marcos Giron continues his impressive run in Japan…

The 30-year-old Spanish American professional tennis player pulled off an upset against eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, defeating the Canadian tennis player 6-1, 6-4 triumph o advance to the semifinals of the Kinoshita Group Japan Open Tennis Championships.

Marcos GironGiron, currently ranked No. 79 in the world, is a qualifier for the tournament.

Giron rode a lightning-fast start in both sets to an 81-minute win against Auger-Aliassime, who had shown signs of a return to form by reaching his first tour-level quarterfinal since May.

Yet he could not match Giron’s consistency in blustery conditions inside Ariake Coliseum. He led 4-0 in the first set and 3-0 in the second, ultimately converting five of eight break points he earned to charge into his maiden ATP 500 semifinal.

“I’m really happy with today’s performance,” said Giron, who held his nerve after losing four of five games in the middle of the second set. “Felix is obviously a phenomenal player, been Top 10 in the world, won a lot of titles. He’s beaten me down pretty good the last few times we played, so coming in today I knew I had to play well and I had to play aggressive.

“It is windy, but I started off really well. In the second set I went up a break and it cooled off, got even windier, and it got a little tricky. He raised his level, but we are professional tennis players, we do this for a living, and we’ve got to be ready for anything that comes our way.”

Giron has previously upset Norwegian Casper Ruud, the second seed, 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday to move into the quarterfinals.

He’ll next face fellow American Ben Shelton in the semifinals on Saturday.