Tennis has given Felix Auger-Aliassime a lot. The Canadian has lifted four tour-level titles in his career, rising to a career-high No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2022.
Aged 22, his journey to the top started 19 years ago in Canada, where he first took to the tennis court.
“Dear tennis, I remember when I was first introduced to you. I was three or four years old. It was really love at first sight for me,” Auger-Alassime said. “I remember having a tennis racquet in my hand, going to the tennis court, so the first meeting was as good as it is now.
“I remember when I played my first match in Quebec City, Canada. I was only six years old. Actually, coming to play a match for the first time and having an opponent there and a referrer. It was quite special.”
Since then, the Canadian has enjoyed highs and lows on the ATP Tour. After losing his first eight tour-level finals, he finally captured his first title when he triumphed in Rotterdam in 2022.
“Sometimes it is hard to love you. It is a kind of love-hate relationship,” Auger-Aliassime said. “You challenge me, and you challenge all players to push themselves to be better all the time and to accept losses…
“There have been many good moments for me, but I think winning in Rotterdam in 2022 was the moment where everything made sense. Everything clicked.”
Reflecting on his journey, Auger-Aliassime looked at how the sport has shaped him as a person.
“You have given me a lot of different things,” the Canadian said. “Taught me a lot of great values. Perseverance, acceptance, and resilience. Also, just the pleasure of competing. The pleasure of digging deep within yourself and finding ways to improve. So all these values are such important things to learn. I feel like as you grow in life, and I feel like you have taught me a lot of that.”