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June 21, 2019

Felix Auger-Aliassime

London, England


7-5, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You started the year outside the top 100. How do you describe your racquet rising to the top 20 now in such a short space of time?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I mean, how do I explain it? I think it's the result of a lot of work behind, you know, years and months. I think even last year I was having wins that I'm having this year, like, beating top 20 players, but I just couldn't find a way to repeat that over the weeks and, you know, on a full tournament.

I think this year is just like the fact that everything added up, all the work that I have done, because I felt like for a year now I have been playing pretty well, but I think this year I just kind of found my rhythm, I just found my beat, and I think I have been on the right track. I haven't left sight of it. I think that's how I explain my rapid rise this year.

Q. Tsitsipas said that you could claim wins over Nadal, Djokovic, Federer in the future, that you've got all the weapons to do that. When an opponent says something like that, what's that mean to you?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, it's humbling. I appreciate that from him, especially coming from him, because, you know, he's beaten these players and he's been playing good against these top players.

I think for me that's obviously the next challenge with winning, winning tournaments, is to beat players like Rafa, Novak, Zverev, or Nishikori. I think I have been playing well also on clay, but I haven't found quite the way to beat these guys. I actually lost pretty badly three times.

I think, yeah, that's, for me, the next step to find a way to beat these type of players.

Q. Both yesterday and today you seem super chill, like you expected to be at this stage, which is surprising.
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: That's what I work for. I think I kind of visualize myself -- whenever I'm training, whenever I'm working in the gym, I'm visualizing myself to be playing these type of matches and win these type of matches.

So I think when the day comes, I feel prepared, I feel ready, and as well with the experience I have gained over this year and last year with different situations, playing finals now, so obviously that adds also a lot of things and a lot of positive things, because now I feel, like, better. I handle these situations better and I stay more calm, like you said. That's obviously been a big key mentally for me this year.

Q. Now that you're rising to the top of tennis, a lot of things are also changing around the court, scheduling and having to deal with media more. How are you dealing with that? Is that a big difference?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I mean, it kind of goes gradually. I feel like it started even two years ago, last year even more, and then this year, yeah, it went to another level.

But at the same time, I think I have been well-prepared, and I think I can thank the people around me. I thank my coaches, my parents, my agent. Everyone has been doing a great job. Everyone has been handling situations in the best way they could.

So I think it's a big thank you to them to keep me, you know, on the right track and keep my feet on the ground.

Q. Has it made it easier in some ways that you're part of the Canadian group of youngsters, Bianca and Denis? How special is it to be part of a group, kind of motivating each other?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, I think there is two ways to look at it. I think some players look at it as rivalries or bad motivation or someone to compete with.

Yeah, I kind of look at it in a good way, because it's fun to have these players around. It's fun to be competing with Denis and all these players, and obviously Milos that is older, but to have him around in the tournaments and to talk to him, I think it's all positives.

I think there is no way you should look at it in a bad way. I think if it's happening to anyone in their country or in their city, I think they should use that in a positive way.

I think, like I did with Denis, we kind of push each other every time to higher heights and pushing each other to the top. So I think we both used it pretty positively.

Q. You're 2-0 against Stefanos in the pros and 3-0 in the juniors. Is it a favorable matchup for you or one of those things where you just happen to be playing well when you've played him?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, it's true that I have happened to play well every time we've played. We've had tough encounters in juniors, three sets, tight two sets.

I think, you know, this year, yeah, both times I served really well, played really well, played pretty aggressively. But at the same time, I feel like all these matches have different stories, different background, different surfaces. So I kind of take every match in a very different way, but, yeah, I mean, it's good to have this record, and hopefully I can keep it.

Q. Obviously having Milos on tour, do you see him as, like, a mentor in some kind of way?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, he's a good person. I think he's good to have around, because maybe sometimes you don't see it on court or he doesn't show it, but he's a really cool person and he's very smart, as well.

Every time I was wondering about things on tour or off tour, you know, or anything I should do or about medical stuff, then I would talk to him and see it as advice.

So I think he's a smart person, a very professional person. He's good to have around.

Q. You mentioned in one of your interviews that you actually met Boris Becker. I wondered how recent this was? Did he say anything to you?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Oh, we met in Paris while I was recovering from my groin injury. No, we didn't really have a long time to talk, but he just said that I have been doing good work, that he's following me, and, you know, to keep on doing what I was doing and that good things would happen.

I think you have to really understand what he says. I think it's important to know that it's not something light. It's something that I think the best players have done, you know, trying to just take all the not important things outside and just focus on really what you have to do every day. I think that's what made the difference for the top guys.

It's just, like, their steady work every day, every week, and being able to repeat that. That's why they are at the top now.

Q. Stefanos basically said flat out that you're a better tennis player than he is right now. What's that like hearing someone ranked No. 6 about someone ranked No. 21?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, it's funny that he said that. Maybe the way we match up is better for me or maybe -- yeah, I guess when we play, I have the advantage on him, but at the same time, I think it would be wrong for me to say that I'm a better player than him.

If you just look at the results he's had, I mean, I think he has, what, three titles already on different surfaces, he's beaten all the top players, Rafa, Novak, Roger. So I think objectively he's a better player. He's better ranked and he's a better player than me, but maybe the matchup, one against each other, I have a bit of an advantage. I don't know.

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