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May 4, 2021

Felix Auger-Aliassime

Madrid, Spain

Press Conference

C. RUUD/F. Auger-Aliassime

6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A tough one out there today. Do you want to give your thoughts on the match, how you think it went for you from your end?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Well, credits to him. I think he's shown a lot of good things today and the last weeks. He's definitely improved a lot in the last two years. You know, I have known him for a long time, but, you know, he's playing well. I think he played a solid match. I mean, he was aggressive, solid at the same time. A lot of credits to him.

On my part, of course not the performance I wanted. Not the level I wanted, either. I think I just need to, yeah, to settle down and keep working, because I just need to play better overall.

Q. Wondering where you think your game is at right now. How would you assess how comfortable you're feeling and where you feel like you're at right now.

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Well, I was feeling good in practice, but, you know, that doesn't matter so much (smiling). So you've got to perform and you've got to play well.

No, I mean, I feel like I'm doing good things, again, but the consistency is not where I want it. Definitely not. So I think I need to see what I can improve, but, you know, for example today was pretty straightforward. I missed more than he did, and he hit more winners than I did. You know, the numbers don't lie.

Q. You said you had been feeling good in practice. I'm wondering, do you have some aspect of your game that maybe early in a match will let you know today's going to be a good day or sometimes today might not be my day, a certain stroke or aspect of your play that early on can give you an idea of what kind of day it's going to be for you out there when you're competing?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Oh, for sure I think, yeah, you have that every match. You know, I showed up today. I felt good. You know, the first two games actually we had some good rallies, good points.

But then early on I missed a couple of easy shots. Then I felt like also the conditions were tough. I didn't play on that court, and there was a lot of shade. The bounces weren't great at some parts. Was way more humid, the court, than on the outside courts where we practice. So I had to get used to that too.

And, yeah, it felt like with the conditions and, you know, the break early on in the first set, he just started playing better and better. I tried to fight in the second, but I guess, you know, it wasn't enough. Yeah.

Q. I wanted to ask you about playing Casper. Do you know him well from the academy? I guess that would be my first question. And second, tactically is it difficult to plan for him? You're kind of maybe trying to avoid the forehand and maybe focusing a little bit too energy on certain tactics? Can that happen against someone with as lethal a forehand as Casper has?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Well, I knew him from, you know, juniors. We played in challengers, and then we played two years ago in Miami.

I mean, I knew him apart from the academy. Actually, we never hit at the academy. We were never there at the same time before. So that's the first question.

But for the second one, no, I think tactically he played good. You know, he was hitting a lot of forehands, dictating the rallies most of the time. I had some openings, and, you know, I missed a couple of easy shots on my serve. I'd double-fault on game points or I missed easy volleys to start the game.

Those are the kind of points that it was all in my hands and that I really couldn't afford to lose when I was playing a guy that was playing as solid as he was.

Again, he's improved a lot. He has a great forehand, we all know that, and he did what he had to do today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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