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February 6, 2021

Felix Auger-Aliassime

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference


6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Easy win today. On to another final. How do you see your matchup against Daniel tomorrow?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: He had an impressive win today. I wasn't sure I was going to take that one. I thought Jeremy also has a dominant game, a great serve, so was surprising to see Daniel I guess win that easily. So it shows how good he is as a player. He's been here for a very long time. He's been steady. I know he has a lot of weapons in his game. He's able to do a lot of good things, so I'm going to prepare myself to the best of him.

Q. As far as today's match was concerned, 1-2 is obviously very impressive. What pleased you the most with today's effort?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I started well, I think, compared to my second match. Even my first match. I think today I really was able to, from the start, do what I wanted to do, which is be dominant. I was able to return well from the second game, mixed up my position a little bit, was able to hit hard, return well, and obviously my serve. I'm pretty sure I haven't faced a break point today, so no, I served well throughout the whole match.

Sometimes it's tough to keep your focus when you're leading like the great royal every I said, so I was able to do that really well again.

Q. Have you followed much of Rod Laver, what he achieved? It's interesting that you mention him.

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, I did. I look at the quotes around the National Tennis Center. I've heard this quote. I don't remember exactly how it goes, but I remember the idea. You're vulnerable when you're ahead or something like that. But of course I know his great career. I can't say I followed him that closely. It was a long time ago. But of course I know the record, the last man doing the calendar slam in the Open era, yeah, it's impressive.

Q. How are you feeling coming into this season compared to 12 months ago and then when everything collapsed after that? Are you feeling any better compared to this time last year?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Well, I feel like, yeah, my game -- I'm being more and more mature with how I play, being more steady. At least my feeling is that I'm able to bring more consistency through the matches and hopefully through the weeks. We're only in week one. But that's really my goal this week, bring my best level every week and really do the things that are in my control really well.

So I do feel like I'm a better player than I was 12 months ago, and we'll see. Hopefully we can play somewhat of a normal season this year and I can have consistent results.

Q. I know you've just touched on speaking to Dan Evans, but yet another final for you. How would you -- are you going to feel the pressure going in, the nerves, et cetera, on playing him?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, the nerves are always there. You know, they were there today, as well, to be honest. They were there yesterday, every match. This is just something we deal with almost every match concerning me, so the finals is not anything different. Of course I'm well aware of my record, but I think tomorrow is another match. It's another matchup. I had very difficult matchups in my last finals in terms of ranking. This time it's different, but it doesn't mean that it gets any easier.

I need to prepare the best I can, stay focused on what I do well and give it all.

Q. When you say this time it's different, are you meaning it's just because it's a different match or different in other ways?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Well, of course every match is different, but it's just that the past matches I played top-10 opponents, so yeah, basically all my last finals I played opponents that are on paper better than me.

Now tomorrow is different. It doesn't mean it gets any easier. It's as tough if not tougher. So we'll see. I'll prepare myself for the best of him. On my side I'll try to play my best tennis and we'll see what the outcome is.

Q. Is there any risk of you wanting it too much?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I don't know. I think you need to want it quite a lot. I think when I want it a lot, I'm going to bring my best focus on every point. I'm going to try to be steady in what I do, to be focused from the start. But no, I don't see wanting it too much as a worry, to be honest, no.

Q. You were tweeting earlier in the week about the kids from Togo and you've had your FAAPointsForChange for a couple of years at this point. How much has it motivated you that you're playing for something more than yourself? And what motivated you to get involved with charity work at such a young age?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Well, it's been almost exactly a year. We started off, yeah, the 2020 season. You know, I'm really proud of the start of the work that we've been doing. It's a work in progress. It's just a start. We just recently reached 5,000 points on my part, times $5 every point. And with being paired with my partner that is also adding $15 on every point, we're raising quite a lot of money for schools, villages, for kids in Africa and Togo, sorry, specifically. No, it's a great thing. I'm proud of the work. I'm proud to have put that in place. It's always something I wanted to do. I wasn't sure how early in my life/career I was going to be able to do that, but the fact that it's already in place and moving forward nicely is something I'm really proud of, yeah.

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