Félix Auger-Aliassime struggled to explain the extent of the correction. He was not hurt, not particularly nervous, not more feverish because the lower part of the table was stripped of its biggest seeds. He warmed up well before the match, felt the ball well, no hitch, no warning signal.
So defeat, okay, but it
never thought it would end like this.
A royal spanking of 6-1 and 6-2, courtesy of Casper Ruud, during which he lost 10 games in a row including, of course, his serve five times in a row.
It’s also not usual for me, when I’ve played two games this way, to lose like this.
The day before in front of Cameron Norrie, 11th in the world, he had familiarized himself with the clouds, qualifying his performance as
On Friday, his game fell apart in a flash. He started the match perfectly by breaking Ruud’s serve on a shutout, then nothing.
” I forced my strikes a little, my targets. However, I played a very good first game. Afterwards, it quickly got complicated without my knowing exactly why. But I have a small idea. »
His trainer Frédéric Fontang has identified two disruptive elements.
First, the colder temperature than the day before, a good ten degrees, has completely changed the playing conditions. The colder air and, therefore, denser, heavier, slows the ball.
His first serve was going out a little less, Fontang explained. With the quality of Casper Ruud’s return in second, it disturbed him a little. He tensed up, he lost his clear ideas. And it went very, very quickly, and the game went all over the place.
All this, we tell you, but, please, shh! Don’t shout it too loud, because at the time of this writing, Fontang had yet to confide his brilliant analysis to his colt. Imagine…
In this patience resides wisdom. At least that’s the coach’s opinion.
Auger-Aliassime has suffered other such setbacks, it is obvious, but never in front of HIS public. Never with such a great opportunity to make it to the end of HIS tournament. Since we alternate between Montreal and Toronto, the opportunities will not be legion.
Can such a disappointment leave traces?
A priori, it is difficult to believe that a player who spends his life chaining tournaments and performances, good or bad, an expert in short-term memory, can let himself be affected for long by a similar defeat, however cruel it may be. .
Andy Murray, for example, had narrowly avoided the ultimate affront at the ATP Finals in 2014, in front of Roger Federer who had defeated him at home in London, 6-0 and 6-1.
At his next tournament, the Australian Open, the Scot had reached the final. However, Murray had a lot more experience at the time than Auger-Aliassime today and two grand slam titles in his pocket. We imagine that it can help put the big and small things in life into perspective.
There is therefore a bit of analysis to be done, preferably cold. For that, Auger-Aliassime did not seem unduly worried.
The main thing is always to know what actually happened, try to act on it and then move on. I’m not someone who gets too emotional or doubtful, who ponders or asks questions. In the end, it’s tennis, it’s a sporthe dropped.
According to Fontang, the outcome of this match in the quarter-finals was first and foremost played on the tennis level.
The French speak above all of a
tactical scenario and conditions.
You have to learn to compress [la période d’ajustement]. This is the challengeadded the coach.
Fontang spoke about confidence, the importance of taking care of your man, both during the game where he is limited to simple messages on the field and after, when it comes time to swallow the pill and digest everything. that.
Protective, he felt that the result will not leave traces, that there have been other grueling defeats, citing in passing that against Dusan Lajovic in Toronto last year in his first match of the tournament.
This is why he will leave Auger-Aliassime a bit of air in the next few hours, perhaps the next few days.
You have to let some time pass. The mistake is to be too emotional right away. Let the dust fall to the bottom of the glasssaid Fontang nicely.
Auger-Aliassime’s ability to learn from experiences like that, to apply them and adjust, will likely determine whether he’ll be a great player or a regular contender for grand slam titles, the Holy Grail of tennis. professional.
The beauty of the thing is that this story is still very young.
(With information from Antoine Deshaies)