Felix Auger-Aliassime let out a bellow that pierced the cheers inside the arena in Basel, Switzerland two weeks ago. He had just beaten Holger Rune to win his 13th straight match and his third straight ATP Tour title.
After collapsing on his back on the pitch following a match point and then shaking hands with his opponent, Auger-Aliassime returned to midfield and stood in awe. The show of emotion was unusual for a player who is best known for being humble, subtle and, for the most part, quiet.
“It was such a relief because there was so much tension at the end of a game like that,” Auger-Aliassime said over the phone just an hour after the trophy was presented. “It was in reference to really pushing myself to the limit over the past few weeks and months. I was just letting my body go for a bit. This cry really made me feel good.
Three days later, 22-year-old Auger-Aliassime qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time when Taylor Fritz lost to Gilles Simon at the Rolex Paris Masters, sending Auger-Aliassime and Andrey Rublev into the championships. from year to eight. He eventually pushed his winning streak to 16 games, but he was eventually stopped by Rune in the semi-finals in Paris.
This summer, he beat world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, then beat him again in the fall. He also beat Novak Djokovic to help Team World defeat Team Europe in the Laver Cup. In January, he and Denis Shapovalov led Canada to the ATP Cup. They hope to do the same in the Davis Cup Finals later this month.
The following interview has been edited and condensed.
Before this year, you had never won an ATP title. You have now won four of your last five finals. What was the turning point?
One of the big turning points was winning the ATP Cup. You’re not just playing for yourself, but for your teammates, and getting the win is a double squeeze. It was a big confidence booster.
You and Shapovalov have won huge games for Canada this year. You’ve also traveled a similar trajectory from junior to pro success. Was the competition between you two essential?
Having Denis by my side in all these moments when we jostle each other is very positive. It’s the kind of energy and competition you’re looking for as compatriots and teammates. We bring out the best in everyone.
You, Shapovalov, Bianca Andreescu and Leylah Fernandez are products of immigrant families. What does your success say about Canada’s ability to absorb immigrants and nurture their talent?
It just shows the kindness and generosity of our country. It also proves that strength comes from diversity and open-mindedness. I am very proud that my father, as an immigrant, gave me the tools, the will, the work ethic and the important values in life to have no fear, no regrets and strive for the best.
Your ball throw is different from the start of the year. Did it help?
I’ve struggled with this in the past, and it’s still not perfect. It is a continuous work. I try to analyze it and work on it every chance I get – every warm-up, every practice – just to have a very stable serve. I think it shows in my stats and results.
Arthur Ashe had a great influence on you. How?
I first heard of him when I was a teenager and went to the US Open and saw Arthur Ashe Stadium. I started asking about him and learned so many interesting stories. I like everything about this man, his way of playing, his style, his composure. He was a class act and a great example for people of color.
What else would you like people to know about you?
Wow, that’s a deep question. I’m pretty sure what you see is what you get. I try to stay true to myself and my family values. I try to be generous and maintain good relations. I like bringing people together and being a good leader.
#Félix #AugerAliassime #rise