Felix Auger-Aliassime recalled his compatriot and friend Denis Shapovalov's third-round win over Rafael Nadal back in 2017 Montreal. Auger-Aliassime, who was sharing the house with Shapovalov back in the day, said: "When he beat Rafa I came back earlier to my place and I could not sleep.
I could not realize what was happening, he beat Rafa in front of thousands of fans and I was shaking, we grew up together. As soon as he knocked on the door, I just got up because it was such a great moment to share. It was extraordinary, we talked about it in the past days and every time he thinks about that, it's unreal.
Rafa was fighting for the No. 1 spot in the world, it was a fairytale movie." On how he reacted in learning that he would face Vasek Pospisil in the first round this year, Auger-Aliassime added: "I just laughed. I saw it coming.
I was talking with my physio earlier that day and I was like, ‘I think something’s going to happen. I’m going to play Denis or Vasek.’ I felt like something was going to happen and it did. Honestly, no big reaction.
That’s just how it is. We’re good friends, we get along well, but once we step on court we’re going to compete at our best like we did at Wimbledon and we’ll see who the winner is. But I think we’re good competitors and we’re good people, so we’re able to put our friendship aside for the time of the match and just compete at our best”.