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September 4, 2020

Felix Auger-Aliassime

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference


6-2, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A question about what you were talking about with Brad Gilbert out on the court there about working on your serve extensively for the last five months. You must be pleased how well you served today. Can you tell me more about the nature of the work you have been doing? Is it a lot of technical stuff? Is it some psychological, mental, also? Or is it just whole package?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, well, as you said, it's a bit of everything. Obviously it's repetition. As a tennis player, sometimes you just get on this rhythm that's good. Today I just had this good rhythm. I was precise. But, yeah, technically I was almost perfect. So obviously that's good.

But, you know, during the year, you have different circumstances. Sometimes you have different weather. That's what's tough about tennis. I think also tonight the fact we played indoors with the roof closed, it kind of felt like at the start of the year when I was playing well indoors and serving really well. That's just how it felt tonight.

But, yeah, so a bit of everything. Whole package coming together. Yeah, it's all good.

Q. I saw you here in Buenos Aires last year when you came to play Argentina Open. Having elapsed more than one year and a half from that moment, could you tell us what you have improved in your game? You talked about your serve. Generally speaking, what did you improve in your game to take you where you are now?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: It's tough to point out something. I think I got better. You know, physically I got better at just -- you know, I think the consistency of my efforts, the consistency of my, you know, concentration, commitment. You know, there is very rare the matches now that I feel like I don't give myself a chance or I'm not fighting well enough.

It was already the case last year, but I feel like I just got better at that. I feel like every match I play now I just really give myself a chance of winning whoever I play.

But, yeah, everything, you know, more solid on the backhand, I'm able to create more and more things with my forehand. Coming in well also. So there is a lot of things that when you're young are improving fast.

Q. You might be playing Dan Evans in the next round. What do you know about Dan's game?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Well, he hasn't won yet. But for sure, from what I know about him, I mean, I have seen him play, you know, either in Davis Cup and other tournaments. I have never played him, obviously. I have hit with him in practice.

I know, you know, he's a crafty player. He's got a great touch. Great touch on the backhand. He's able to come in and put pressure on you. He's precise in what he does.

Yeah, if he ends up going through, which for me would be, you know, a good challenge, well, you know, I'll try to do the best that I can.

But I always expect good things from a player as experienced like Dan.

Q. Do you study your own opponents on YouTube or videos? Is that something your coach will go to that match tomorrow and watch closely?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, we'll see what the schedule is. It's really late tonight. First thing is focusing on me resting. My coach will surely either watch live or on TV. Probably myself, also.

But then, yeah, we always, the day before, try to watch a few clips, talk about the match with my coach. I think, you know, it's something these days with technology a lot of players can do.

So, yeah, I try to use that to my advantage.

Q. I believe you mentioned it on your on-court interview, but you were up two sets and obviously Andy Murray, his first-round match had been down two sets and won. What was your process going into that third set because of this history?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, I mean, you're playing a champion like Andy, he's done that multiple times. You've just got to stay alert. That's what I was trying to do. I couldn't say it was easy, you know, because at the start of the third I wasn't really getting my chances on the return.

Then as the set was going forward, I just felt, like, more comfortable. I was still serving well so that obviously put off pressure on me. But the main thing I was saying and telling myself was keep going, keep doing what you're doing well.

Even whatever happens, you know, with the score, if I'm doing good things, at some point it will turn around on my side, if you look at the first two sets. But you've got to stay ready, got to stay alert, because you never know what he's got in his back pocket.

Q. You had 52 winners in the match. Your overall game, your thoughts on it and you seemed to be getting the ball deep and having big winners. Just talk about your overall game.

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, everything came well together tonight. I can be happy about just my overall performance. Everything was working well. I think, you know, I had a good percentage of winning points when I came into the net also. I had good overheads. So, yeah, it was very complete from the beginning to the end.

But I can be happy for today. That doesn't guarantee anything for the rest of the tournament, so I've got to keep on doing these things I was doing well even better.

Q. That was your first time on Ashe; is that correct?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: That's correct, first time on Ashe, yeah.

Q. What was that experience like playing on the center stage?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, it's a beautiful court. It's beautiful to have a chance to play. I always imagined, because usually the stadium, it could be the stadium where I would play in front of the most people. So that could have obviously been special. We are in different circumstances this year. But I think for next year and the upcoming years, it was a good opportunity to have a chance to play on Ashe today.

Q. Wondering what you made of Andy's game tonight? Obviously you have watched him a lot in the past and seen the heights he's been at. Wondering what sort of level it felt to you from the other side of the court that he was operating at?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, for sure, it wouldn't be fair for me to say that he was at his peak tonight. I know. I have seen Andy play. I could see it was in his emotions and what he felt that it wasn't his greatest night.

Obviously me playing well was obviously probably even tougher for him. But I still felt like when he needed to he could play well. You know, he would come up with good shots, good serve. You could still feel his touch is really good. He doesn't miss too much backhands.

But I know in his peak he would be even more solid. But even though he wasn't his best tonight, I still felt and I understood why he was a great champion with the way he was able to make you earn every point and, you know, you needed to play well to win a match like today.

Q. On your performance, one of our British commentators here, Greg Rusedski, said he felt if you played like that you could win this tournament. Are you here to win this?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Well, obviously I'm here to go as further as I can, and if that's winning the tournament, then that will be it.

But I've got to start by -- it's only the third round, early in the tournament. You know, these things are new to me, later stages of a Grand Slam. So I'm not really, you know, focusing myself on this yet, because even if I play well today, it doesn't guarantee anything for the upcoming matches.

But knowing that I did that today, I think obviously brings a lot of confidence, and if I can repeat that, obviously, like Greg said, I will give myself good chances.

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