Ever since his first appearance in the qualifying draw of a Challenger at the age of 14 in 2015, Felix Auger-Aliassime has been among the youngsters to beat and a future star to keep an eye on. Kicking off the previous season from just outside the top-100, Felix delivered an incredible performance to reach three ATP finals and the Masters 1000 semi-final, all at the age of 18.
After playing in the third round in Montreal, Felix lost the ground and started to struggle physically, unable to find the form or to compete in the last events of the year due to an ankle injury. Spending the offseason at home in Monte Carlo, Auger-Aliassime was eager to make the best possible start of 2020, competing for Canada at the ATP Cup and dropping three out of four matches, still adapting to the new racquet.
Felix is the second seed in Adelaide and the top favorite after the withdrawal of Alex de Minaur, hoping to lift the first title in a career and get the best possible momentum ahead of the Australian Open. "I have never been to Adelaide before and it is always cool to experience a new city," said Auger-Aliassime.
"I'm at the beginning of my career and I'm getting to know new places. It's nice to see the people are happy to see me here. They're looking forward to seeing me play; I feel the positive energy. Being the 2nd seed, it adds pressure to your campaign; I dealt with it a couple of times last year at the ATP 250 level and I hope that to become a regular scenario in the future.
At the same time, you have a chance of going deep and stand as the player that all others have to chase. After that ankle injury that sent me out of Vienna, Paris and the NextGen Finals, I played at the Davis Cup Finals to test my physical level, heading to Monte Carlo for the offseason after that.
I was working on various aspects of my game, especially the second serve that needs improvement. The last season brought some good and bad things, having been able to play on a high level until the US Open, which was unbelievable.
I had to make some adjustments as well but it was a great season overall that brought a lot of positives. Despite cracking the top-20, I still want to improve and chase higher goals. It would be great to win the title in Adelaide but I can't think that far, it is the beginning of the season and I didn't play well at the ATP Cup; I have to go match by match.
My goal is to win the title in 2020 and if it comes here in Auckland that would be a perfect scenario; still, I don't want to put pressure on my back ahead of the Australian Open."