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Australian Open: Full battle between the FAA and Pospisil

Melbourne, Australia | In his first round match at the Australian Open, Felix Auger-Aliassime knew he might fear his friend, compatriot and partner in Canada’s historic Davis Cup victory.

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Felix was not mistaken. No, this meeting was not an anthology, punctuated by breathtaking exchanges. But it will be a battle of the mind for Felix, who has had to rely on his bearings after a disastrous first set. and a physical battle for Pospisil, suffering leg cramps from the second round.

He was finally the sixth candidate to find the key to the puzzle first, defeating 99H The world score 1-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3), 6-3.

“go fast”

When the game kicked off around 6pm Melbourne time, the sun was bombarding half the stands at John Cain Arena, the third largest stadium on the site of the first major tournament of the season.

When it was over, about four hours later, it was dark and seagulls were circling over the stadium, waiting for the rest of the spectators to leave the enclosure so they could steal the food left on the ground.

Yet Felix thinks he has started the meeting strong. However, things soon deteriorated. “First game, I think I’m playing pretty well. I’m going 15-40, I’m feeling good, I’m doing good forehands,” he said at a news conference.

“After that, I made some unforced errors, but I wasn’t worried about my jitters, my level of play, he continued. Then it went really fast. I double-faulted.” [trois au total au premier set] I can’t explain it, because I served well all week in training…”

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remained positive

There were those double faults, yeah, and also, an amazing level of tennis on the part of Pospisil, who was looking for angles to prevent his compatriot from extending rallies. A strategy that has proven effective for a long time.

“He pressured me. As soon as I didn’t get past my first ball, he was aggressive on my second serve, and also analyzed Quebec. It was a bit complicated. I had the impression that if I made a bad point, he made a good point.

If Auger-Alyssum didn’t say much good to himself when he got back into his chair, once the first set is over he’s still doing everything to stay positive.

And it worked. Perhaps it wasn’t quite as the 22-year-old would have liked because in a perfect world he wouldn’t have had to go to a tie-break to win the second and third sets. But he stuck.

Pospicil and convulsions

During this time, the physical form of his friend, who had become a one-night rival, was gradually deteriorating.

A refrain that Pospisil knows well. Shortly after the match, the 32-year-old veteran didn’t want to take anything away from Felix’s match. However, he lamented that physical glitches again denied him a win.

“It’s been five years since I’ve had an injury-free season,” he said, his voice trembling. It’s a problem I have to solve. I’m experimenting with things, I’ve changed my diet. However, it is difficult to lose the match not because we played badly, but because of our body.

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Auger-Alysime didn’t immediately notice Pospisil’s problems. In the third round, he began to feel the spasms that gripped his opponent.

In any case, the “FAA” notes that it hasn’t changed much. “When Vasek has his back against the wall, then he seems to be playing his best tennis. He is more relaxed.”

“He doesn’t ask questions in these moments, I ask myself,” Felix pointed out. I had to keep my watch, because it seems that when he’s about to give up, that’s when he gets the most dangerous.

Maintain the same dynamic

And in the fourth round, finally, Auger-Aliassime was able to enjoy the “match”. It appeared in the tally. “I felt so much better. To end up this way is a step in the right direction. If you can keep that same dynamic, you will get better in the next laps.

The next challenge for “FAA” will be against Alex Molcan, 53 years oldH in the World, which he will face either on Tuesday night ET or from Tuesday night through Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Slovak beat him in three sets in their only meeting last year on clay in Marrakech. Felix remembers him as a player who “had a good touch on the ball, good hands and defended well”.

“It wasn’t a very good match on my part, but I still see possible solutions. It’s good to have standards against the opponent,” he noted.