Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'I Go into Every Tournament Believing I Can Win': Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'I Go into Every Tournament Believing I Can Win': Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime

Article excerpt

Felix Auger-Aliassime gaining confidence in tennis world

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MONTREAL - After returning home following an impressive performance at last week's Miami Open, 18-year-old Canadian tennis star Felix Auger-Aliassime said Tuesday his success this year has come more quickly than expected.

Auger-Aliassime was the youngest semifinalist in the 35-year history of the tournament, and despite losing to John Isner, he climbed 24 spots to reach 33rd place in the ATP Tour rankings. Auger-Aliassime also reached the final at the Rio Open in February, followed by a quarter-final finish at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo.

"It was definitely faster than I expected it," Auger-Aliassime said of his success. "After going to South America and playing a lot of matches, you just get into a rhythm and you get a lot of confidence, and everything falls into place."

After getting over some knee troubles at the end of 2018, he said he's fully healthy and able to play his best tennis.

"Where I am now, with the confidence I have, I go into every tournament believing I can win and go all the way," he said.

His strong play has won praise from the tennis world, including from Roger Federer, who recently called the young Quebecer "impressive" and compared him to Rafael Nadal. Auger-Aliassime said the compliment "is a great sign that I'm doing some good things. For people like that to say good things about me means I'm on the right path."

Despite the international attention and prize money, the teenager said he has no immediate plans for a big purchase.

"I haven't thought about that," he told reporters at Montreal's IGA Stadium when asked if he planned to buy a flashy car. "I don't have my driver's licence yet."

He acknowledged there are elements of his game he needs to improve, including keeping his nerves in check when the pressure is on. …

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