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Félix Auger-Aliassime aims to be number one in the world

Félix Auger-Aliassime aims to be number one in the world

He will be ranked sixth in the ATP rankings on Monday, but Felix Auger-Aliassime is not hiding it: It’s the number one world ranking he’s aiming for. and “believes in it more and more”.

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Since Félix Auger-Aliassime took his first steps in the professional circuit, he has been nominated as the future world number one. American John McEnroe, one of the laurels of the ’80s, has remarkably emphasized on several occasions that he saw him as the ultimate king of the ring.

The fruit of these three consecutive titles collected in October, in Antwerp, Florence and Basel, Quebec will finish sixth in the world on Monday, a personal peak. He was 13th a few weeks ago, after a precipitous exit from the US Open.

I agree with John

If these 16 straight victories – he also reached the semi-finals of the Masters 1000 in Paris, which he lost on Saturday – confirm the 22-year-old’s place among the world’s elite, Felix makes no secret of it. He wants more.

“I agree with John,” Auger Eliassim said during a virtual conference on Sunday. Without skipping the steps, without putting too much pressure on myself, I think I have what it takes to finally be the world number one in my career. »

“I am more and more convinced, and the people around me too, that I have what it takes to be one. Well, of course, I have to deliver the goods, which is never easy,” he smiled.

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Already, the Quebec pride is hoping to capitalize on the ATP Finals, which will take place in Turin next week, to continue their rise to the standings.

“I have one championship left to improve my ranking this year,” he noted. I will do my best to finish as high as possible and hope to continue like this next year and go even higher. »

believe in the title

The tournament will bring together the best eight players of the season, with the exception of the world number one, Carlos Alcaraz. The Spaniard, who has an abdominal muscle injury, has pulled out and will be replaced by American Taylor Fritz.

But this very high table does not frighten Felix. He made this presence in Italy one of the goals of his season. He now believes he has what it takes to claim the title.

“All the players who participated, I have already faced them, I have defeated them. For me, there is no reason why I should not participate in this tournament with the aim of winning it.”

The only present in Turin that Auger-Aliassime did not beat is Spain’s Rafael Nadal, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev and Fritz.

One of the most difficult

Felix also recently defeated Novak Djokovic in the Laver Cup.

A victory that gave Quebec a lot of confidence and contributed to his good push in recent weeks, coach Frederic Fontang pointed out to the newspaper last week.

“It is one of the most difficult tournaments to win, because only the best world championships are involved,” said the young athlete. But there is no reason, in my opinion, not to aspire to victory. »

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Before Turin, rest

But before heading to Turin on Wednesday, Auger-Aliassime will take a few days off.

A little time to celebrate, too. With these matches following each other at a frantic pace for a month, he didn’t yet have time to fully savor his successes.

“The real celebration, I think, is now,” he said.

Because if he obviously wanted to achieve the quad, by winning the first title in the Masters 1000 class in Paris, Félix remains proud of the level at which he played.

“Not in all matches, but in some matches I think I played my best, so I am happy with that.”

“But also my consistency in my victories, and my results. That is what I am most proud of.”

The disappointments paid off

The time is not far off, the time when Felix Auger-Aliassime tied the disappointments of the final. Before winning the first title of his career in Rotterdam in February, the 22-year-old suffered eight straight defeats in a final.

With this coronation, a weight was lifted on the shoulders of Quebecers. But those “hard to accept” defeats were not far away in his memory during his last hat-trick.

“All the finals I’ve played in lately, I’ve played them as if they were the most important of my career, with great motivation and focus,” Felix said on Sunday. Missing a little means I don’t take any for granted. »

Don’t be afraid to lose

Throughout his sixteen consecutive victories, Auger-Aliassime has been described as “unshakable”, “unbeatable”, “indomitable”. With victories came pressure too. The eyes of the tennis world were on him.

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But the new sixth in the world confirms this: he was not haunted by the fear that this wonderful sequence would stop. Even if he admitted that the idea crossed his mind after winning his second title in Antwerp.

I started asking myself the question: Will it stop this week? Or will I win again and go to Paris unbeaten? »

In the end, the second option prevailed.

“But I didn’t have any nervousness about the idea of ​​losing at some point. I’ve lost many matches in the past, so it wasn’t a problem.”

mission accomplished

His setback on Saturday against young Danish champion Holger Ron, the Paris final champion against Serbian Novak Djokovic, was no problem yesterday either.

After all, Felix could say, “Mission accomplished.” If he’s had ups and downs this season, the former has offset the latter.

Here’s Quebec firmly rooted in the list of the world’s top 10 players, the ATP name and ticket holder for the ATP Finals. He scored three goals at the start of the season.

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