Australian internationals: Felix Auger-Aliassime will have to plead for patience

Australian internationals: Felix Auger-Aliassime will have to plead for patience

Melbourne, Australia | Since his first training sessions at the Australian Open last week, Felix Auger-Aliassime felt that the balls used there this year were not helping his game.

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“I trained with [Rafael] Nadal and we found that the balls quickly became slower, “said the” FAA “after his snatch victory against Slovak Alex Molcan on Wednesday in the second round.

The Quebecer and the Spaniard were not the only ones to see this issue. “The more rallies you play, the fluffier they get and slow down,” explained former world number 1 Novak Djokovic after his first match. I think we will see more long games than last year. »


Felix does not want to make these famous dances a recurring theme. After all, they will not change. Rather, it will be up to him to adjust, she noted.

“I’m going to have to be patient,” admitted a calm Felix, but clearly looking for solutions. Accept that it will take three or four more balls to finish the points sometimes. I will also have to let the other make mistakes. »

“The ball doesn’t spin well. Me, I’m going to have to hit more flat, more crossed on the court, ”she analyzed.

game too slow


It was not easy for Auger-Aliassime against Molcan, 53me world racket, which he faced this Wednesday for the second time in his career. The Slovak, a lefty with good touch, had delivered a close backhand on clay in Marrakech last year.

Having started the match well, the sixth seed became disoriented. There were the balls, yes, but also the very slow playing conditions at Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne Park’s third largest pitch.

Due to the rain on Wednesday, the roof was closed. It was also quite cold; Outside the mercury struggled to exceed 20 degrees Celsius. All this contributed to slow down the game, which did not favor the Québécois.

In the middle of the first set, “FAA” began to multiply the unforced errors, while, on the other side of the field, his rival had fun carrying the balls behind him thanks to his skillful hands.

Claims to the arbitrator

Quickly, Felix found himself with his back to the wall, losing two sets to nil. To date, the Québécois had only made up for such a deficit once: it was in the first round of Roland-Garros, last year, against the Peruvian qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas.

“I never complain about it, but the balls don’t bounce,” he told the referee midway through the third set. I know you can’t do anything about it. Maybe it’s a bad box. »


After all, it was not only a bad club, but little by little the 22-year-old managed to find some rhythm.

Molcan, on the other hand, lost its shine at the same time. So Auger-Aliassime managed to make up for the enormous disadvantage without sweating too much, winning 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 and 6-2, in 3 hours 2 minutes.

“While I’m on the field, I try to give myself a chance to win,” Felix said. Except you also need a bit of luck, your opponent must not play too well, otherwise you will see the match slip away. »

“Yes, it takes resilience. But also luck, she added. Generally, when you lose two rounds to nil, you don’t win. »

“I have to play better”


But this time Auger-Aliassime won. He will face Argentine Francisco Cerundolo, 28, in the third favorite, Thursday night Eastern time, or Friday night.

In front of the journalists, the Québécois did not give much importance to the nature of his next opponent.

After overcoming a two-set deficit against Molcan and taking four sets, and four hours, to overcome his compatriot Vasek Pospisil, Felix preferred to focus on areas of improvement in his own game.

“The main thing is that I have to play better,” he said. I have already tried to play better than in the first round and I will try to continue raising my level of play, try to be more precise, more consistent. »

live from melbourne park


The players had exchanged their ice-cold towels at changeovers for long clothes on Wednesday. In one day, the mercury dropped almost 15 degrees in Melbourne. If many games had been postponed due to the heat, on Tuesday, for this third day, it was rather the rain that postponed certain matches for several hours. Because Australia sometimes has four seasons in 24 hours. These delays forced the organizers to reveal Wednesday’s schedule very late on Tuesday, which did not please everyone. Bianca Andreescu found out from her coach when she woke up around 7:30 am that she would play at 11 am And due to the rain, her match was postponed to the afternoon. “I don’t know why they waited so long before making the schedule available, it’s ridiculous,” said the Canadian.



The Australian Open site lacks the cachet of some other major tournaments, but it’s pretty, colorful and easy to use. Where things go wrong is within certain stadiums, even among the most prestigious. Margaret Court, Melbourne’s third largest, was a bit depressing on Wednesday, with its concrete walls. Especially since the ceiling was closed and the light could not penetrate the floor. Like the centerpiece, Rod Laver Arena, it was built in 1988. And while it was slightly expanded in the mid-2010s, maybe it’s time to give it some love again. Although, basically, it is the game that is played there that counts, of course.



A paddle tennis court, where spectators can practice, occupies a prominent place at one of the entrances to the complex. It also promotes the Padel Open, which will be held in Melbourne at the end of January. Padel is a hybrid of several racket sports, including tennis and squash. It is played in doubles on a smaller court, with walls and fences where players can bounce the ball, like squash. Points are counted the same way as in tennis, but we serve with a spoon (perhaps Nick Kyrgios could make it in the later career of him…). There is a world paddle tennis circuit and, yes, there are some tracks in Quebec.


Denis Shapovalov

Photo: AFP

Denis Shapovalov

It is not the first time this has happened to him, but the Canadian lost his temper during his second round match against the Japanese Taro Daniel, annoyed by spectators who talked during the game, first turning to the referee and complaining about the noise they were making. they were doing was “excessive”. “They’ve had too many beers and they don’t know what they’re doing,” said the favorite of the 20, before launching a “shut up! he felt good with one of them (in fact, the French version is too polite, he said “shut up!”). But that didn’t worry Shapovalov for long, as he won 6-3, 7-6(3), 7-5 against 94me World Cup in the second round.



Yes, there are more beautiful things to see in Australia than garbage cans, we agree and we will show you more during the rest of the week. But this idea is interesting. Near the venue, but also in the tournament press room, we find these containers in which we can deposit all our rubbish, whether it is waste or items destined for recycling. Sorting is done later. It’s hard to say how well it actually works, but it’s meant to prevent you from inadvertently trashing trash that shouldn’t have been there.

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