Adelaide, Jan 1 (Ajit Weekly News) In a stunning three-week period late in the 2022 season, Felix Auger-Aliassime constructed a 13-match winning streak with title runs in Florence, Antwerp and Basel.
The Canadian subsequently progressed to the Paris Masters semifinals and amassed three more match wins in leading Canada to its first-ever victory at the Davis Cup, reports Adelaide International Tennis.
“I feel like momentum plays a huge role in your confidence. For me, it’s been great in the last few months,” said the Montreal-born 22-year-old ahead of the Adelaide International, where he is the No.2 seed at the ATP 250 tournament.
“I try to recreate it, not just like think it’s some sort of stars aligned or some type of luck that you’re just trying to ride a wave on. I think there’s reasons behind success. I feel like it’s about understanding why you’re succeeding constantly and trying to do it again.”
It sounds an ominous warning for Auger-Aliassime’s opponents in the South Australian capital, where nine of the ATP’s top 20 players are in action next week.
The star-studded field includes Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner, Holger Rune, Denis Shapovalov and Karen Khachanov.
Many eyes will also be on former world No.1 and multiple Grand Slam champion Andy Murray as well as Thanasi Kokkinakis, who claimed his breakthrough first ATP title in Adelaide last year.
“For us as players, I think it’s the best preparation. You want to be tested from the first matches you play,” said Auger-Aliassime of the intense competition he could face following his opening-round bye.
“Also before the Australian Open starts, you kind of want to play the best players, be tested, and see where your game is at. For me it’s actually good news.”
The Canadian has good reason to be confident on Australian soil, after leading Canada to the ATP Cup title in 2022 and progressing to a first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open.
Adelaide also evokes positive memories, with Auger-Aliassime progressing to the 2020 semifinals and falling in three high-quality sets to eventual champion Andrey Rublev.
“I remember that match very well. I remember feeling good,” the No.2 seed reflected.
“I love the conditions here. I think it was the right choice to come here again just because of how good I felt …that match was very high quality with an in-form Rublev. Hopefully I can play good again.”
Yet the goals are simple for the level-headed Auger-Aliassime, who has wise counsel in long-time advisor Frederic Fontang and star coach Toni Nadal.
“It’s the same target every time: to play well, improve from the player I was the year before,” he said of his 2023 objectives.
“I feel good at this point … a year ago (when) we started in ATP Cup, I was playing good tennis. I hope I’m a better player now than I was a year ago. At least I feel like it.
“It’s going to be the same thing coming, trying to be a little bit better… I’m trying to win the biggest titles.”
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S