Felix Auger-Aliassime opens on facing Rafael Nadal with Toni Nadal as his coach



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Felix Auger-Aliassime opens on facing Rafael Nadal with Toni Nadal as his coach

World No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime says everyone pretty much knows how Rafael Nadal plays so he doubts Toni Nadal can tell him anything what he doesn't already know. On Friday, Auger-Aliassime defeated Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (3) 7-6 (2) 7-5 to progress into the French Open last-16.

Next up for Auger-Aliassime is record 13-time French Open champion Nadal. Auger-Aliassime started working with Uncle Toni last year and this is the first time he will meet Nadal while working with Toni. Auger-Aliassime thinks Nadal's uncle Toni will watch the match from a neutral place.

"I don't know if I need insight on how Rafa plays, to be honest. I think we all know what he does well (smiling). I don't think Toni will, you know, tell me anything new about Rafa," Auger-Aliassime said, per Musab Abid.

"But we had the discussion, you know, it was black and white from the first time we started working together we knew it was a possibility that eventually I would play Rafa when I'm working with Toni. And actually now he's present here in this Grand Slam.

But I think Toni will watch from a neutral place and enjoy the match."

Auger-Aliassime hopes for his first victory over Nadal

Auger-Aliassime and Nadal will be going head-to-head for the second time in their respective careers when they meet in the French Open last-16.

The lone meeting between Auger-Aliassime and Nadal came at the 2019 Madrid Masters, when Nadal saw off Auger-Aliassime in straight sets. Reflecting on the upcoming challenge, Auger-Aliassime insisted he approaches it as every other match.

"Yeah, from my part it's another match, another opportunity to try to play, you know, a good match and win, but of course it's very difficult," Auger-Aliassime added. Auger-Aliassime has reached at least the quarterfinal in each of the last three Grand Slams. It remains to be seen if Auger-Aliassime can upset Nadal at the French Open.