Felix Auger-Aliassime: 'Roger Federer is like divinity when you are kid'



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Felix Auger-Aliassime: 'Roger Federer is like divinity when you are kid'

With 31 ATP victories and three ATP Finals, Felix Auger-Aliassime has been one of the stories of the season so far, standing as one of the youngest but also the most promising players on the higher-tier of the ATP Tour. Kicking off the year from just outside the top-100, the young Canadian found the form at the end of February, reaching the first ATP final in Rio de Janeiro and advancing into the semi-final at Miami Masters as a qualifier, squandering a great chance of playing against Roger Federer in the title match.

After a couple of early exits, Felix was the finalist in Lyon and Stuttgart on two different surfaces, backed by the semi-final at Queen's and the third round at Wimbledon, Washinton and Montreal. Despite the first-round loss in Cincinnati, Felix has broken into the top-20 for the first time in a career, standing as the 19th youngest player in that group since 1973 and the fifth-youngest since 2000, hoping for more of the same at the US Open and in the rest of the season.

"My father Sam transmitted his passion for tennis to my sister and me," Auger-Aliassime said. "I can't recall a period of my life without playing tennis and I told my father that I want to be a professional tennis player at a very young age.

One of the things I like the most about tennis is that competitive side, a duel that you have on the chessboard or between two gladiators, I like the fact that you have to go out and find the way to defeat the rival. The winning part in tennis is obviously great but that’s not everything, I also seek that sound of a ball that has been hit well.

When you are a kid, Roger Federer is almost like a divinity when you see him from a distance, the one that I managed to reduce after having a chance to talk and play with him."