Rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime admitted playing against No. 2 seed Dominic Thiem was tough and the result said it all. Thiem, ranked at No. 3 in the world, saw off world No. 21 Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (4) 6-1 6-1 to reach the US Open quarterfinal.
"Yeah, well, it was obviously difficult. I think the result showed," Auger-Aliassime said. "I just felt like -- the start was a bit tense. Felt like both of us weren't playing our best level but we were kind of just hanging in there and things were more balanced a little bit.
I was able to come back well in the first, gave myself a chance to maybe win the first and then, you know, I missed at the important moments. "But then after that, I just felt we had some good rallies, some good points at the start of the second.
Then me not making those, getting broken. While feeling like it was still not bad, I feel like that really gave him confidence and hurt me more than it did anything. "Then from that, it was just tough, yeah. He was playing good, heavy, and I was just playing worse and worse."
Auger-Aliassime in positive spirits and wants to keep learning
"Well, first thing, the first three matches were good, were interesting. You know, I think I take positive from the first three matche," Auger-Aliassime said.
"You know, I felt like my energy was fine, but just, you know, you play those top 5 players and it reaches another level. Thiem is a player who has been through these tournaments, and he's made the finals. He's gone far in these tournaments.
I just feel like he was doing everything just better than me today. "I will try to see what I can learn and see what I can improve from that loss in particular, and I think I'll focus on the good things that also happened this week and go from there."
Fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov made the US Open round-of-16, while Vasek Pospisil exited the tournament in the round-of-16. Speaking of the Canadian tennis success at the US Open, Auger-Aliassime said: "It was great showing.
I hope it inspires kids from our country, from our respective province and cities. You know, just to show them that it's possible. And that, again, we were showing that we're a country that can be dominant in this sport.
We have already shown with the finals last year in Davis Cup, but I think now we show that, yeah, we can go deep in these tournaments. I think now we can only try to repeat that."