Why is Félix Auger-Aliassime made so dominant? His trainer says…


It was at the U.S. Open in late August. In the interview room, Félix Auger-Aliassime was obviously disappointed. He had just been eliminated in the second round by the Briton Jack Draper. ” It's not a good feeling, especially in a match that I saw myself winning “, then regretted the Quebecer.  

More than two months have passed and now Félix is ​​surfing on the best moments of his professional career: three titles in as many tournaments and 13 victories in a row. A streak like none other than Spaniard Rafael Nadal and Serbian Novak Djokovic have experienced this year. 

But what is the link between the setback in New York and the three consecutive coronations?  ;

Félix Auger-Aliassime was beaten by Britain's Jack Draper at the most recent US Open.

“ This defeat was ultimately a good thing, noted his coach Frédéric Fontang in an interview with Journal,Monday. It's been a long time since we had three weeks to do physical and technical work. »

Thanks to Alcaraz and Djokovic

< p>Since this “pause” forced, the eighth in the world has gained momentum. Even before he chained the coronations in Florence, Antwerp and then in Basel, last weekend, Félix had accumulated great performances, recalled Fontang. 

“There was this victory against Carlos Alcaraz in the Davis Cup, then the one against Novak Djokovic in the Laver Cup, which gave him extra confidence,” he pointed out.

In fact, the pride of L'Ancienne-Lorette has only made two missteps since the end of August. Félix lost to Korea's Soonwoo Kwon, world No. 74, in his first Davis Cup match, then was eliminated from the start in Astana by Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 21, in early October. 

But otherwise, Auger-Aliassime's game “has fallen into place,” Fontang pointed out. 

The Frenchman suspected that it would happen one day, sooner rather than later.

“Since the start of the season, he had had some very good streaks, at the Australian Open, then on clay . We knew that all the work we did, every week, technically, tactically, would eventually pay off. 

A surface he loves

There is also the hard inside, this fast surface, which suits the game of Quebec well. 

The latter had raised it in a post-match interview, after his victory at the expense of Alcaraz on Saturday. “It’s good that I grew up in Montreal, I think! he said, laughing. Growing up, I was used to training half the year indoors. I think it pays off now. »

The four titles on his list, which he opened last February in Rotterdam, were gleaned on this surface.

“For sure for the attackers it is good, the hard inside, because there is no wind. Once you have found the right settings, it's easy to keep them, imagined his trainer. But Félix has already played well on all surfaces. »

A complete game

Powerful and precise, the service of the pride of L' Ancienne-Lorette has been his greatest weapon this season. But on Monday, Fontang also pointed out that his protege had raised “the quality of his returns.” in recent weeks. 

“We also saw his backhand strength,” he said. The whole puzzle of his game, which we've been working on for a while, fell into place, whether in attack or defense. »

« We knew he had the potential, but by beating Alcaraz and Djokovic, two very strong players, who are or were number 1 in the world, he increased his confidence,” he continued.If victories breed confidence, confidence also breeds victories. And Félix has been full of it lately, according to his coach

” Right now, he's like all the players who go through this kind of sequence, explains Fontang. He has clear ideas and we try to keep things as simple as possible. » 

Not too tired

Despite the sequence of matches over the past three weeks, Auger-Aliassime is not too bothered by this fatigue which generally sets in over the hours spent on the field. 

Because during his triumphant month of October, the Quebecer signed several hasty victories, avoiding at the same time spending too much time on the playing field. Auger-Aliassime therefore feels ready for the Masters 1000 in Paris, that it will start on Wednesday. 

At this important tournament, Félix will try to obtain for the first time in his career his ticket for the ATP Finals, which will bring together in Turin, in mid-November, the eight best players of the last year.&nbsp ;

Djokovic having already qualified thanks to his victory at Wimbledon and his world ranking, there are still two places available in Italy. 

The young athlete is currently sixth in the ”  race , but a misstep in Paris, combined with a long week from one of his main competitors, the American Taylor Fritz and the Pole Hubert Hurkacz, would thwart his chances of playing in Turin. 

It would be a shame to stop on such a beautiful way. 

Félix is ​​now an established star

Thanks to his performances in three weeks, Félix Auger-Aliassime is once again well established in the top 10 of the ATP rankings, which he had momentarily left after his defeat at the United States Open. 

L The 22-year-old athlete was ranked eighth on Monday, behind a certain Novak Djokovic. 

After having long had the status of a young rising star on the men's circuit, Félix is ​​now considered an established top 10, noted his agent, Quebecer Bernard Duchesneau. 

” Since Félix is pro, and even among the juniors, he has always been the subject of great attention, noted Duchesneau on Monday. But for some time, with the arrival of players like Carlos Alcaraz or Jannik Sinner, the image of the young prodigy stuck less, because he is growing up and others are growing behind. »

“With this streak, he is well established in the top 10, he has a good chance of qualifying [for the ATP Finals in] Turin, he added. The attention he receives is now different, because there really is a margin between what is paid to a player who is in the top 10 and one who is not. ”

No immediate impact

As is often the case in sports, these three consecutive titles and this top 10 status could translate into the interest of new commercial partners, mentions the agent. 

“&nbsp ;That sheds a lot of light on him. It opens the door to business opportunities, which will come in the coming weeks, commented Duchesneau. We expect that, but the impact is not always immediate. »

No running for partners

Anyway, Félix is ​​not necessarily looking for new sponsors, even if they will always listen to proposals, he added. 

” He has already very, very good partners, mentioned Duchesneau, speaking in particular of the equipment manufacturer Adidas. It is not because it has good results that we will seek to graft new ones, this is not at all the way we proceed. »

Auger-Aliassime is looking for sponsors who stick to its values, he said, such as “sustainable consumption, helping others or inspiring”. 

“It's sure that if we have [offers] that are compatible, that could be added to our portfolio of partners without taking all our time, because that's always the danger, we'll listen . I am convinced that we will have great opportunities. ”

Excellent in all aspects

In his last 13 games, Félix Auger- Aliassime excelled in all aspects of his game, as noted by his coach, Frédéric Fontang.

Here are his stats, on average:

  • Ace: 11
  • Double Fault : 1
  • First serves in game: 68 %
  • Points won on his first serve: 82 %
  • Points won on his second serve: 52 %
  • Points won at net: 76 %
  • Winning shots: 30
  • Unforced fouls: 14
  • Time on the pitch: 1 h 35

Source: data compiled from the ATP website

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