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September 6, 2021

Felix Auger-Aliassime

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference


4-6, 6-2, 7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Could you give us your thoughts on tonight's match.

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Another solid performance from my part. My serve again worked really well today after that opening game, yes. I had many chances to get back in the first set, I didn't. So I just needed to accept that, work my way into the match. But I had always the belief that I could find a way, that I would be able to get myself through this match and my belief was really high today.

I'm happy with how I handled myself, with my attitude, and to be able to bounce back really well in the second set, to win a tough third set after having those set points on my racquet.

Again, yeah, staying focused, staying positive helped me today to get through this match.

Q. This is your second straight slam quarterfinal. People have been talking about you getting to this point for a couple of years now, Oh, yeah, Felix is going to be winning Grand Slams soon. Does that get in your head and how does that affect you, as you compete at this level and keep pushing yourself up?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Well, I think last couple of years, maybe too much, I think just last year really, 2019 I rose through the ranking, had my breakthrough. I didn't have big results in slams. It was my first year playing all the Grand Slams. And then I felt like, yes, in 2020 making the round of 16 here for the first time, that helped my confidence. And then this year, now my third second week of a slam.

I'm more and more confident I can be at this stage more often. And, no, for sure it hasn't, you know, been either good or bad, you know, the comments that have been made, I'm just trying to focus on what I have to do on improving and to put myself in these situations.

But I have always had the belief with the ups and downs that I could and I deserved to be in that position I'm in today.

Q. You mentioned your serve. Frances was in here a moment ago and complimented you on the way you served tonight. What have you done maybe the last couple years to become more consistent with the serve and to maybe use it more as a weapon?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I always thought I had the qualities physically to have a good serve. My height, my power. But my rhythm I think has gone much better, my toss is more consistent.

So there has been some work technically done, especially in the last year when we had the break, I feel like I was able to use that time well to work on my serve. Then I felt like when I came back in 2020, yes, I was already serving pretty good before, but I felt like since then my serve has been good and consistent.

It's a work in progress. Nothing is guaranteed. The next match could be different. I have to accept it. But I do feel, yeah, my serve, my game is getting more and more consistent with time.

Q. You obviously are so professional about the way you have gone about your improvement and your career. I would understand if all your focus was on tennis. Just now, speaking to James Blake on ESPN, you had a very beautiful response when he asked the significance of that you felt of playing on Ashe out there with Frances, and I just would love to hear more about your awareness of the influence you can have as you're building your own career on young people. Could you tell us about that.

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, thank you, it's a great question. I think I'm not totally aware yet of maybe the impact that I have. Sometimes talking with my family, with my dad that owns an academy, he tells me, you know, the kids watching and the impact that can have. It's really flattering, it's really good to feel that, of course I'm playing for myself, trying to achieve great things in sport, but also having a good impact on others is the most gratifying thing.

I think Frances and I can be proud of ourselves for stepping on that court today. We have come a long way. It's not like the road is clear from, you know, where he came from, from where I came from, it's a lot of work, a lot of sacrifice.

So to have new faces in tennis on this stage. Of course, we are playing on Arthur Ashe Stadium, he was the pioneer, but now to have kids like Frances and I stepping up and playing some good tennis, I really hope it inspires and sends a good message to other young players or kids out there.

Q. Frances was just in here talking about how this tournament has had a lot of five-setters. He said a lot of guys are foaming at the mouth, they realize the draw is wide open with no Nadal or Federer. Guys are really super hungry. He used a lot of expletives to describe that. Do you feel the same thing? Do you guys sense something here, a huge opportunity at this Open?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, I mean, coming in this US Open we knew it was going to be intense. We knew there was going to be lots at stake. On the one hand we have Novak trying to achieve history and we have guys that now have multiple Grand Slam finals, with the likes of Medvedev, Zverev, Tsitsipas who lost, but all these guys that are really hungry, and myself, to be in the big stage and to win these type of tournaments.

I do feel that, but at the same time, every player now is tough to beat. Everybody plays well. Frances is not seeded here but he deserved to be way higher. He plays well. All my matches were tough, my first round, you play matches and sometimes it's a tussle, it's a fight, and you have to get through.

For sure I think myself and all the other young players are hungry to do more, to do more, and to, yeah, to take the spot of the others.

Q. Have you had a chance yet to think about playing Alcaraz in the next round and what that is going to present to you and maybe what it's going to present to him as an 18-year-old at this stage for the first time?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Well, not much. What's good about Grand Slams is you have a day to rest, you recover. So right now my mind is just about enjoying the win from tonight, relaxing, and then, yes, of course tomorrow I will start thinking about how to prepare for the next match.

Carlos is a great player. Great person also, I think. He deserves to be in that position. He's going to be top of the game I think for many years in the future.

I think, you know, of course everything is a first for him this week. So it's not for me, it's not like it's any different, okay, it's his first quarterfinal, but it was his first fourth round, third round, first US Open. So I think he's playing good and he will keep playing well in this tournament, so I have to prepare myself for the best of him.

Q. You mentioned belief, and I'm curious if you can elaborate on just how you have developed that belief and how that belief has maybe developed from some of the disappointing matches you have had and how that's prepared you to have success against some of the big players on tennis' biggest stages?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, I think that the self-belief at least, I think there is two things, there is the confidence that you get with the wins, and then there is the belief, and the self-belief, specifically.

I think that shouldn't change too much with the wins and the losses. I feel like you have to go back to training, you have to keep pushing and always keep that self-belief, because once it's gone, nobody is going to believe for you. You really need to be deeply confident in yourself that you can do great things, and especially in my case in this sport.

So, yes, I have had tough losses this year, had good wins, but at the same time every week going back to training, going back to another tournament with the belief that I can do well and I can play good tennis.

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