Rising Canadian tennis star Felix Auger-Aliassime took to Twitter to show Jo-Wilfried Tsonga respect following their Marseille clash. Auger-Aliassime, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 9 in the world, beat Tsonga 7-6 (3) 6-2 in the Marseille round-of-16.
It was the first meeting between 21-year-old Auger-Aliassime and 36-year-old Tsonga. "8 year old Felix had dreams about this match. Amazing to share the court with my childhood idol. Thank you for being an inspiration Jo," Auger-Aliassime tweeted.
Tsonga responded: "Bravo @felixtennis, I played my idols too when I arrived on the tour. Victory or defeat, it's the moments that remain engraved in our memories. I wish you all the success you deserve."
Bravo @felixtennis, j’ai joué mes idoles aussi quand je suis arrivé sur le tour.
Auger-Aliassime and Tsonga shared a moment at the net
After the match was over, Auger-Aliassime and Tsonga exchanged a few pleasant words at the net.
“It was a special moment,” Auger-Aliassime said. “When the match was coming to the end, I knew it was going to be a special moment, a full-circle moment. He was my top idol growing up and I saw myself in him at times.
“The other great players I couldn’t relate to them. They seemed they were from another planet but Jo seemed like a big brother. I told him how much he was my idol when I was growing up and he told me to aim for the stars and not be shy and I can go to the top”.
Auger-Aliassime claimed the first break of the match in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Tsonga saved two consecutive break points in the sixth game before getting the break back in the seventh game. Tsonga took an early 2-0 lead in the tie-break but then lost the following four points.
Tsonga won the seventh point to reduce the deficit to 4-3 but Auger-Aliassime then won the next three points to win the opener. Auger-Aliassime then broke Tsonga twice in the second set to book a straight-set win. It remains to be seen if Auger-Aliassime will get another chance to play Tsonga.