As he sets his sights on a second career title this week when he makes his tournament debut in Los Cabos, World No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime says that he is better prepared this year to contend for trophies.
The Canadian transitions into the summer hard court swing at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel in Mexico, where, as the second seed behind World No.1 Danill Medvedev, the 21-year-old will be satisfied with nothing less than the title.
Auger-Aliassime came into the season with an 0-8 record in Tour-level finals but exorcised his championship-match demons when he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2 to win the ABN AMRO Open.
The Canadian credits his breakthrough title to a fresh mindset coming into the season, one that he is confident will continue to bring him success in the years ahead.
“Everytime I lost one of those finals, it was tough mentally but I thought this year I’m going to be a different player…That means I’m going to try to play a better match and when I get into those finals, I’m going to try to play better tennis,” Auger-Aliassime said.
In addition to the fresh perspective, Felix said that previous losses in finals only motivated him to push harder to reach new heights. “I really felt like I was able to put all those negative things to the side, really focus on the positive, be optimistic, and approach a match with a lot of confidence.”
In January, he broke into the Top 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time and the following month collected his maiden title in the Netherlands. “It was a big relief for me and my team.”
Now, Canada’s top-ranked player is hungry for more success. “My goals are now even higher.” He will open up his Los Cabos debut against either John Millman or wild card and home-favourite, Alex Hernandez.
Celebrating his 22nd birthday next week in Montreal, a title in Mexico would be an early birthday present before heading to his home tournament.