Felix Auger-Aliassime hopes to become a permanent fixture in the ATP Tour in the future
At 21 years old, Felix Auger-Aliassime is one of the brightest prospects in tennis at the moment. Although the Canadian doesn’t think he is ready to take the place of greats like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic just yet, he hopes to get there at some point in the future.
The World No. 9 is on a poor run of form lately, having lost five of his last six games. After losing both his openers at the recently concluded Sunshine Double, Auger-Aliassime succumbed to a loss in the opening match for the third Masters 1000 event in a row on Wednesday.
Seeded sixth, the 21-year-old fell to Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets at the Monte-Carlo Masters. Speaking to reporters after the defeat, the Canadian revealed that his recent string of losses have not affected his self-assurance too much.
The World No. 9 was optimistic about the future, not just for himself but for the sport as a whole. Auger-Aliassime noted that his opponent Musetti had a huge following in their match as well, which assured him that there will always be a part of the public that comes to watch tennis matches no matter what.
“I’m only 21 years old, and no, I’m not ready to assume the position of Nadal or Djokovic yet, clearly. I hope in the future that I will be able to become a player who has an important place on the tour,” Auger-Aliassime said. “What I think is that the fans, the public likes tennis. Today they were cheering for Lorenzo [Musetti]. It’s almost full here, so they will still come.”
As special as the previous generation was, Felix Auger-Aliassime remains confident that new players will come up to take their place. The Canadian prophesied that instead of only a handful of players dominating the tour like the Big-3, tennis will see a more diverse group at the top who are equally matched.
“It’s special when the older players are in the end of their career, but new players are coming up,” Felix Auger-Aliassime said. “We won’t have maybe only three players dominating all the others. We will have more players at the top.”
“There will be maybe 8 or 10 players that will be able to win big tournaments a bit more than before” – Felix Auger-Aliassime
Felix Auger-Aliassime expects a group of 8-10 players to dominate the tour in the coming years
During the press conference, Felix Auger-Aliassime further remarked that he expects a group of 8-10 players to be vying for big titles in the future. Although only Daniil Medvedev from the younger generation has managed to win a Grand Slam so far, the Canadian is of the opinion that others will rise to meet the challenge in the years to come.
“There are about 20 players who already won big titles. Only Daniil [Medvedev] won a Grand Slam, but many other players won big titles, and I believe there will be maybe 8 or 10 players that will be able to win big tournaments a bit more than before,” Felix Auger-Aliassime said. “We’ll see what happens.”
What will be the key factor in that race, according to the World No. 9, will be consistency. Although every player is guaranteed to go through bad stretches at some point in their career, what separated the top players from the rest of the pack, in his eyes, was their ability to bounce back.
“Everybody plays well today. On a given match, anybody can win. But over the years, some players will stand out. This will depend on their capacity to be consistent over the years and to be resilient,” Auger-Aliassime said. “Sometimes there are difficult moments; other times it goes better. So those who will be able to bounce back will be the best ones.”