Being the youngest player at the Top 25, Felix Auger-Aliassime has learned that court competition is essential for everyone. Here at the Rolex Paris Masters 1000, he had tried to make a great impression and do well, being that last year was a bummer.
He'd suffered an ankle injury and wasn't able to play the last two season tournaments: The Rolex Paris Masters and the Nitto ATP Finals. This year is ending in a harsh mirror of last season.
The 1st round of the Rolex Masters Auger-Aliassime went up against Marin Cilic
He had a slow start despite hitting some great shots to the Croatian.
But it was Cilic that dictated most of the points and score. He played aggressively and never let up on Auger-Aliassime. Cilic had the recipe from the start and put the Canadian on the defense with his half volleys, cross court winners and down the lines helping him gather the first set, giving the young Canadian a bagel 6-0.
The second set Auger-Aliassime fought back and harder. He corrected all of his errors of the opening set. He'd move forward for put-away shots and found the open court on Cilic one too many times scoring a 6-3 win in the second set.
The Canadian felt confident into the third but then his game started falling apart. He'd begin producing a lot of unforced errors then had to get a medical timeout. Something wasn't right. It was around his hip area that the problem loomed.
Felix Auger-Aliassime would lay prostrate on the court getting attended. Upon rising he'd do stretching while Cilic kept mobile walking and stretching himself. The match resumed but it was clearly Cilic that kept the strategy upper hand on his over ten year old younger competitor to win the Rolex Paris opening round at 6-0, 3-6, 6-3.
The year hasn't been going extremely successful for the Canadian native ranked no. 22 in the world. The warm-up in Adelaide back in January he was taken down by the current winner of Vienna, Andrey Rublev in three sets.
The Australian Open he bowed in the first round but despite not going deep throughout the shortened season, he did land in the finals of Rotterdam and the Open 13 in France falling to Gael Monfils and Stefanos Tsitsipas. It was at the Bett1HULKS Indoors that he'd battle in the final with Alexander Zverev only to be defeated in straight sets.
The world health crisis has put a damper on all where six months no tournament or player could be up for competition. Hopefully for Felix Auger-Aliassime he will repair his game and become more consistent going deep into tournaments again and perhaps win his first ATP title.