Canadian tennis star Felix Auger-Aliassime admits facing Rafael Nadal at the French Open would be a big challenge but insists his focus isn't on a potential meeting with the Spaniard. On Sunday, Auger-Aliassime recovered from two sets to avoid a shock loss versus qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas.
Auger-Aliassime and Nadal could potentially meet in the French Open last-16 but Auger-Aliassime doesn't want to think about until the moment comes for that. After beating Varillas 2-6 2-6 6-1 6-3 6-3, Auger-Aliassime acknowledged that one of Nadal's greatest strengths is that he has never been taking anyone for granted.
"But his strength too is that he never took it for granted either, that he was going to win all his matches. I think he wants to test his form, see how it goes. He too must first win his first 3 matches. Me, I have to win until then.
We'll see. It would definitely be a big challenge for me. But first, for me it's still a long way off. I don't think about it too much yet," Auger-Aliassime said, per We Love Tennis.
Auger-Aliassime survives a scare
Auger-Aliassime was nowhere near his best in the first two sets but after the match admitted there was nothing bothering him, it was just him starting the match on a bad way.
“The way the match started wasn’t due to nerves or stress. I felt comfortable. So there was nothing with the court that impacted me in a negative way, really," Auger-Aliassime said. Also, Auger-Aliassime felt everything turned around after he claimed his first break of the match at the start of the third set.
“Of course once I got the first break, it was a relief, because I spent two sets without being able to break him," Auger-Aliassime added. Auger-Aliassime has reached at least the quarterfinal in each of his past three Grand Slam appearances.