Rune's Late Heroics Seal Basel Final Spot, Top 20 Debut

Dane will meet the red-hot Auger-Aliassime in Sunday's final

Down 2/6 in a second-set tie-break, Holger Rune could have turned his attention to a decider on Saturday at the Swiss Indoors Basel. But the #NextGenATP Dane instead won the final six points of the match to defeat Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(1), 7-6(8) and advance to his second straight ATP Tour final.

By stretching his winning streak to nine matches, Rune also set himself up for his Top 20 debut in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Entering the ATP 500 at a career-high of World No. 25, last week's Stockholm champion has moved up an additional seven places in the Live Rankings to No. 18, and could rise as high as No. 16 by defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime in Sunday's final.

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"It was brutal. It was a very tough match and really long rallies," the 19-year-old said after two hours on court. "He played some very solid tennis, very aggressive with his forehand. I just tried to play as aggressive as I could, take every chance I got to follow [my shots] forward to the net and just focus on my serve.

"I think I managed the nerves well, especially the second set was super tough. I thought we were going to three sets but I'm happy that I managed to stay focused."

Rune fired 46 winners and 11 aces as he continued his blistering form, and saved seven break points to maintain his perfect record on serve this week. He has saved 11 break points in Basel across 41 service games.

The victory against the Spanish sixth seed sets up a mouthwatering final between two of the hottest players on the ATP Tour. Auger-Aliassime, who scored a convincing win against World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz earlier on Saturday, has also been perfect on serve in Basel. He seeking his third straight title and 13th consecutive match win after triumphs in Florence and Antwerp.

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"I guess one of us will be broken tomorrow," Rune said with a laugh, looking ahead to his first ATP Head2Head meeting with the Canadian. "We'll see. I hope it's not going to be me. I'm just trying to focus. Felix has been playing some great tennis, not just behind serve, but in general. He played great tennis today as well. I'm super excited for another great final and hopefully it will be very good tennis."

While Rune cannot quite match Auger-Aliassime's consecutive titles entering the match, he is 13-1 since late September, reaching the Sofia final before winning the second title of both his season and career by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas last week in Stockholm.

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