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February 12, 2021

Felix Auger-Aliassime

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference


7-5, 7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Not easy, I'm sure, playing Denis. Can you talk us through that match.

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, it's never easy, not just because we know each other but because he's a great player. You know, he's been a great player, he's been playing well.

You know, at the start of the year, I saw his match against Jannik, it was a great match. You know, it's a big challenge, so to come through in three sets like that, it means a lot. It's good for my level, my confidence, and hopefully I can build on from this.

Q. Why do you think you have had such trouble against Denis in the previous two Grand Slam matches? I know you retired from one. Obviously that was physical. But is there something else with the matchup that doesn't work in your favor?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I don't know. Really, it's one match we're talking about. Because the other one, one set all, I couldn't move anymore. I beat him in Madrid. He beat me badly, yes, in US Open, but it's one match where my game was just not in place.

It wasn't about him. It was really about me. Doesn't mean that his game is not tough to play. His game causes me problems, you know, like a lot of players. So of course I try my best to figure out a way. But for me the US Open match isn't a reference compared to his game, compared to mine. It's more like my game wasn't good at that time.

Q. You have a Russian qualifier in the next round. Are you looking ahead at that match yet and the potentials for going further here? What are your thoughts?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Well, in my perspective he's not a Russian qualifier now. He's more a Russian playing in the round of 16. It's a tough task.

No matches are easy. We saw what he was able to do today against Diego, which is a great player and a tough opponent to beat. I've played him before. I know how good he's able to play.

So I'm gonna be ready to face the challenge, ready to compete, and of course try my best to go through to next round.

Q. This is more of a lighthearted question. Sunday is Valentine's Day, and the Australian Open is not normally played on Valentine's Day, the holiday of love. What do you see as the most important aspects of the role of love in the sport of tennis?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: That's a good question. I mean, I think love is fuel, right? Love is fuel to get up every day, and you can almost name it passion, as well. When you're passionate in love or in your work or in your job or whatever you're doing, in my sport in my case, I think the love for the sport gets me going in tough moments, gets me up when there is hard practices to do, and, yeah, it really keeps me going.

It's a really important aspect, of course, of life. Especially in tennis for me it's important that I keep the love for the game and the passion for it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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