World No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime is hoping to play better this clay season as he admitted that replicating Rafael Nadal, especially on clay, is something almost impossible. Auger-Aliassime, 21, has been working with Toni Nadal for a year now and recently they have been trying to find ways to help the 21-year-old improve his clay court game.
“I didn’t have the most amazing clay season last year in terms of results so this year is just an opportunity for me to try to do things better, try to improve on this surface, try to win more matches – so that’s what I’m trying to do,” Auger-Aliassime said.
“It starts with the training, it starts with the work that I’m going to put in everyday and Toni helps a lot with that, we talk about the matches and we talk about the game and how I’m supposed to approach matches and the competition.
“He’s been a great help of course, we’ve been together more than a year now so things are doing good, we have good weeks, bad weeks – but at the end the work is great and it’s moving in the right direction”.
Auger-Aliassime: I'm not Nadal, tough to replicate him
When asked about the methods Toni Nadal has been using, Auger-Aliassime explained Uncle Toni came with a different approach because he and Nadal are two completely different players.
“I’m not Rafa, we have different qualities, it’s tough to replicate what Rafa did in his career and on clay,” Auger-Aliassime added. “I’m more of a hard court player and I play well on grass as well, it’s different strengths but he adapted his input.
“He adapts to the player he’s working with so he’s not approaching it like I want to play like his nephew, I think that would be wrong but he has a great knowledge of tennis and he knows a lot so he’s able to help me”.
Auger-Aliassime hasn't had a great start to the clay season as he was beaten in the Marrakech round-of-16, before losing in the Monte Carlo second round. Auger-Aliassime is hoping to do better this week in Barcelona.