Felix Auger Aliassime: 'After a good season, I want to crack top-100'

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Felix Auger Aliassime: 'After a good season, I want to crack top-100'

Ever since he made professional debut at Drummondville Challenger in 2015 when he qualified for the main draw at the age of 14, Felix Auger-Aliassime has been one of the best upcoming stars in the world and the leader of 2000 generation.

At the moment, Felix is one of just three players of his generation in the Top 400 and by far the best-ranked, standing in 109th place despite the fact he missed the entire action in January due to a knee injury he suffered 12 months ago while preparing for the new season.

The Montreal native needed some time to regain his form and confidence but he finished the year with six ATP wins and 24 Challenger triumphs, winning two titles from three finals to become the second-youngest four-time Challenger champion behind Richard Gasquet.

In addition, Felix has become the first player born in 2000 with a Masters 1000 win when he defeated Vasek Pospisil at Indian Wells and also the first who had a chance to compete at Majors, qualifying for the main draw in New York two years after becoming the youngest junior champion of the US Open! In the blockbuster first round match, Felix battled against his great friend and compatriot Denis Shapovalov and he was forced to retire after the fifth game of the third set due to an irregular heartbeat, something that has been bothering him for two years.

Luckily, it was nothing serious and the super talented youngster was back on the court a few weeks later, reaching the first ATP quarter-final in Shenzhen and winning the title at Tashkent Challenger to make another big step towards the place in the Top 100.

Speaking for Tennis Canada, Felix looked back upon the season behind us, revealing the biggest achievements and plans for 2019:

"One of my goals at the start of 2018 was to break into the top-100. It was pretty ambitious but it is what we wanted to motivate me.

I had a rather complicated start of the year due to an injury and it delayed my results and development during the year. After that, I got back on track towards the middle of the year and I just started to accumulate wins. I had a successful streak of two or three weeks where I was able to get multiple victories so I'm happy with the way where I have finished the year, not necessarily in terms of ranking but more regarding the level that I have reached and the confidence that I have gained.

It is a benchmark for my game. I would say that it was a year of learning and a year where I gained experience, especially in terms of the traveling. It was a year of development as well, regarding my game and learning how to stay in the present.

With all of the things happening around me, the expectations regarding my potential, we sometimes forget to stay in the present and appreciate the journey and enjoy each moment. There was the additional pressure that I put on myself that slowed me down, especially at the start of the season.

I think that I found the way to put that aside at certain point to concentrate and leave that pressure behind. The best moment of the year for me was the US Open and the way I qualified for the main draw, using the last opportunity to do that in 2018.

It turned out to be a good week despite everything, although I had to leave extremely disappointing for not being able to finish that match against Denis. Also, one of the most difficult moments of the year was that loss against Medvedev at Rogers Cup but when I look back at it objectively it was a great tournament, especially after that win over Lucas Pouille.

To play an exciting match in the night session in front of the home crowd was really great, it will help me to perform even better next year in Montreal. I want to establish my place in the top-100, to get those final few points I need to break in and to continue with my development, that will be my main objective again."