March 26, 2021
Miami, Florida, USA
F. AUGER-ALIASSIME/P.H. Herbert
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Wondering about how you felt with your form coming in. I know you had a great little run at Acapulco, probably didn't end the way you wanted to, how you felt about your form coming into this match. And if you agreed with Pierre about the timing with the umpire of walking back and starting the shot clock. Just wanted to hear your thoughts on that.
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I felt good, you know, coming in. The first thing is physically. You know, I think once I feel good physically I feel fresh in my mind, as well. Usually I'm able to play at least my level, good tennis. That's how I felt coming into this week.
I also have good feelings, good vibe from this tournament. So that always helps. Of course I thought it was a tricky first match, because I have lost to him before. So I guess being ready for his best, being ready for kind of the worst-case scenario really got me prepared mentally, and I think I stayed focused throughout the match. So that was a good thing.
On the second part, well, I think, yeah, he was frustrated because that time he complained, I also thought that was a pretty short break, especially at a ball change. But, you know, it's the rules. Of course we both have to respect -- I mean, I got a time violation yesterday in doubles. It's something that happens. But of course, I mean, you know, nobody's perfect. Maybe he pressed too early. But, you know, it is what it is.
But I do think it's tough to be at the net, go get your towel, and then get ready for your serve within that 25 seconds.
Q. We have the chance to talk back to Acapulco about your great return stats. You managed to win almost 45% of the return points between all your matches, and you managed to keep these stats here today against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, a great server. What do you think about these great stats you're having on the return these couple of tournaments?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Well, yeah, of course on the first serve it's a long-term improvement. You try to in practice hit more and more returns, be as focused as you can be on the ball.
Today I think I was able to make him play a lot of first-serve returns, which was a great thing. I think also being able to mix up my positions on the second serve, kind of keep him doubting. It was a positive thing, as well.
So, no, again, it's going in the right direction, but, you know, I don't want to stop there.
Q. Did you feel you needed that tough match to really get into the tournament?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Well, it's always good when you win it, right? Because sometimes draws are not always easy. Some are easier than others. But again, at this level, every match you have to earn.
Of course today was a tough opponent that I know has good weapons in his game. He beat a player like Tsitsipas just two weeks back. I had to be ready for his best tennis. I think of course after a win like this, it gets me well into the tournament with a match with high intensity and high focus. It's a good way to start, for sure.
Q. I know you have been a long-time Nike guy and now you're with adidas. How are you feeling in the gear? How do you like the clothes and the shoes?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: It's great, to be honest. I have been happy since the first day. Honestly it's been a great partnership so far.
You know, everybody at adidas, honestly, I actually had a chance early in the partnership to go and visit the headquarters. I got received there in great fashion, so I'm happy with how things are going and happy with my game and happy with my partners now. Honestly things are going in the right direction.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports