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Felix Auger-Aliassime Is on a Roll


Felix Auger-Aliassime set free a bellow that pierced through the cheers inside the sector in Basel, Switzerland, two weeks ago. He had just beaten Holger Rune to win his thirteenth match in a row and his third consecutive ATP Tour title.

After flopping onto his back on the court following match point, then shaking his opponent’s hand, Auger-Aliassime returned to the center of the court and stood along with his mouth agape. The show of emotion was uncharacteristic for a player who is healthier known for being humble, subtle and, for essentially the most part, quiet.

“It was just such a relief because there was a lot tension at the tip of a match like that,” Auger-Aliassime said by phone barely an hour after the trophy presentation. “It was in reference to actually pushing myself to the limit for the previous couple of weeks and months. I used to be just letting my body go a bit bit. That scream felt really good.”

Three days later, Auger-Aliassime, 22, qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals for the primary time when Taylor Fritz lost to Gilles Simon within the Rolex Paris Masters, sending Auger-Aliassime and Andrey Rublev into the eight-man year-end championships. He eventually pushed his winning streak to 16 matches, but he was finally stopped by Rune within the semifinals in Paris.

This summer he beat world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, then beat him again in the autumn. He also beat Novak Djokovic to assist Team World defeat Team Europe within the Laver Cup. In January, he and Denis Shapovalov led Canada to the ATP Cup. They hope to do the identical within the Davis Cup Finals later this month.

The next interview has been edited and condensed.

Before this yr you had never won an ATP title. Now you’ve won 4 of your last five finals. What was the turning point?

One in all the large turning points was winning the ATP Cup. You’re not only playing for yourself but in your teammates, and to clinch the victory is double pressure. It was an enormous confidence booster.

You and Shapovalov have won some huge matches for Canada this yr. You may have also traveled an analogous trajectory from junior success to the professionals. Was the competition between you two essential?

Having Denis by my side in all those moments pushing one another could be very positive. That’s the type of energy and competition you wish as countrymen and teammates. We bring out the most effective in one another.

You, Shapovalov, Bianca Andreescu and Leylah Fernandez are products of immigrant families. What does your success say about Canada’s ability to soak up immigrants and to foster their talent?

It just shows our country’s kindness and generosity. It also proves that strength comes from diversity and an open mind. I’m very proud that my dad, as an immigrant, gave me the tools, the need, the work ethic and the vital values of life to haven’t any fear, no regrets and to strive for the most effective.

Your ball toss is different from the start of the yr. Has that helped?

I’ve struggled with it previously, and it’s still not perfect. It’s an ongoing work. I try to investigate it and work on it every likelihood I get — every warm-up, every practice — just in order that I even have a really stable serve. I feel it’s showing in my stats and my results.

Arthur Ashe had an enormous influence on you. How?

I first learned about him after I was a teen and went to the U.S. Open and saw Arthur Ashe Stadium. I began asking people about him and learned so many interesting stories. I like all the pieces in regards to the man, the best way he played, his style, his composure. He was a category act and an excellent example to people of color.

What’s the one other thing you desire to people to learn about you?

Wow, that’s a deep query. I’m pretty sure that what you see is what you get. I attempt to stay true to myself and my family values. I attempt to be giving and generous and maintain good relationships. I wish to rally people together and be leader.

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