July 5, 2021
Wimbledon, London, UK
F. AUGER-ALIASSIME/A. Zverev
6-4, 7-6, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What an accomplishment for you, through to your first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal of your career. Take us through your emotions. A difficult five-set match. How relieved were you to come through, such a great celebration at the end?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, I think my celebration was very honest and genuine. It's a big milestone for me in my young career. You want to play well in the Grand Slams, especially here being my favorite tournament.
Also the way it happened, so many ups and downs. Break in both first sets, coming back to win those, losing the next two, then again struggling to finish in the fifth. This match really had everything.
I had to dig deep physically and mentally. Of course it makes it even sweeter.
Q. It's a huge win for you, also for Denis. Two Canadians in a Grand Slam semifinal. I don't think that's ever happened at a Grand Slam before. Tell us what that means for you and Canadian tennis.
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: It's great for me personally. You're fighting of course for yourself to win, for your team. Yeah, in the back of your mind you also have everybody back home. The tons of message I receive after from people that have helped me to get where I am today. It means a lot.
For me to give this back to them is also great. It feels really good. It's teamwork. The country's behind us. My city is behind me. It's really good to do that, to have this much support.
Again, a great day for us Canadians and hopefully it keeps going.
Q. It's Matteo next. In his press conference he said that you two watched the Italy-Belgium Euro quarterfinal together, is that right?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah. Yeah, we did. Both our girlfriends are cousins, so it just happens that we spend a lot of time together. He's one of my best friends on the tour. He's really a great guy, great person. I get along really well with him.
Yeah, I mean, since we're in the bubble, we have dinners together sometimes. We watch the game together. Yeah, I'm happy to call him a good friend.
I think it's good to get to play each other. We both have had a great tournament so far. We'll try to leave it all out there, and it's going to be good.
Q. Will you kind of avoid each other for the next 48 hours?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: No, I don't think so. No, I don't think so. It's good for me personally, and I think I can speak for a lot of players on the tour, we're able to make the difference between what happens on the court and off the court. Matteo is a good friend, first of all. I can chat with him, have dinner with him. Of course, when the day of the match comes, then you focus on what you have to do. You try to play your best tennis and win.
It's two separate things.
Q. Before you go on court, what sort of words of advice are going through your mind? Do you think of anything in particular, call on anything that someone told you before?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I didn't feel great at the start. There was a little bit of nerves. As the first set went on, I went down a break. I still felt close. Of course he gave a few free points. That got me to be back in that first set. Then I felt more relaxed afterwards.
But the advice was of course to play my game, try to be aggressive like I can be, mix things up a little bit, mix the speeds, the spins, yeah, and try to see where I can get openings.
But in a match like this there's so much going on, there's so many moments, key moments, that at the end of the day I feel like the match plan goes away, it goes to the garbage because you're just kind of adapting and always reacting to what your opponent is doing. That's the story of five-sets matches.
Q. There are five first-time quarterfinalists at Wimbledon so far on the men's side. Do you think there is a reason behind that?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I mean, grass is always a little bit different than other surfaces, I would say. We don't get to play a lot of matches in the year on grass. I just feel like players that feel good on this surface can have a breakthrough sometimes I would say. Also you have the big champions - Novak and Roger - the most experienced that are still the favorite for the title that are going to be tough to beat because they have the experience of winning it so many times.
Also with Rafa and Domi missing, as well, sometimes it can open up a draw a little bit for some players. As players on the tour, you try to take every chance you can get. Of course, you don't always do. But you fight for it. It's good to see some new faces in the quarterfinals. At least I'm happy to be part of it.
Q. With the strides you've made in your career mentally, earlier this season at the Australian Open you were in a similar situation against Karatsev leading two sets to Love, that match didn't go your way. Did that enter into your mind today? How were you able to better manage the situation this time?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, I mean, I thought about it for sure a little bit. Of course, different player, different circumstances. I felt better physically today than I did at the Aussie Open. At the Aussie Open I really couldn't move much at the end. I was really struggling physically. That was a different story.
Of course this time around I didn't want to let it happen to me twice. It would have been tough to accept. But at the end, again, I was just trying to play my best, be courageous, be audacious, go for my shots, try things. It went my way.
Matches like this over my career surely won't always go my way, but I'm glad it did tonight.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports