LONDON | Félix Auger-Aliassime is categorical: even if the scholarships for the Wimbledon tournament this year will still be generous, he prefers to earn points in the ATP rankings.
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Met at the end of his training, the ninth racket in the world took a few minutes to confront the representative of the Montreal Newspaper.
In the past few weeks, the ATP and WTA have made an unpopular decision. The two associations will not award points in their respective rankings at Wimbledon. Therefore, several players will lose some ranks after the main tournament even if they perform well on the London turf.
Points are worth gold in the eyes of Quebecs.
“If you give me the choice between points and money, I get points. Always the points, said Auger-Aliassime. I’m lucky to be in a sport where you can make money like we do.
“It’s not the same reality for all players. For many, qualifying for Wimbledon and having a large scholarship will help them pay for the year and their coach.
“For me I was lucky. The money has come, but my priority has always been to earn points, climb the ranks and improve to become a better player.
“My goals have never been monetary. I would rather have points with less money than the other way around. “
More motivated than ever
Despite everything, Auger-Aliassime found a source of motivation.
“I will play for prestige. I’m in a situation where I don’t know what’s going to happen, we don’t know how to organize the table.
“If I play at my best level, I could finish in the semifinals or the final. For me, every Grand Slam is an opportunity. I get close like everyone else. “
With the absence of Russian players like Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, the door could open to Fred Fontang’s protege.
“I don’t know if the tournament will have a particular flavor due to the absence of Russian players,” said the 21-year-old. In 2020, during the US Open, we wondered if there would be an asterisk due to COVID. Novak Djokovic had been disqualified.
“Medvedev and Rublev are very good players, but they weren’t favorites to win the tournament. It will be the same title as usual. “
Losing the points collected at Wimbledon in 2021 won’t hurt him too much. This is a drop of one or two places during the next ATP poll.
Quebecer doesn’t hide it: Wimbledon is their favorite tournament. And we can understand it very well.
“It’s always nice to go back to a place where you have good memories,” said Auger-Aliassime. I had a great time last year (defeat in the quarter-finals).
“This is where I won my first Grand Slam game. It is a tournament that I love. Everything is wonderful. It’s nice to be back here. “
In the first round he will face the American Max Cressy, 60th racket in the world. If the name Cressy reminds some fans of anything, it’s normal.
He won the Challenger tournament in Drummondville last year. Cressy, who is 6-foot-6, is a great waiter. Auger-Aliassime will have to find a way to give him a hard time in exchange for serving.
Confirmed at the Laver Cup
This week Auger-Aliassime confirmed its presence at the Laver Cup, which will take place next September in London. He will be part of the world team, in particular with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
“I loved my experience last year. To play with the best players in the world in a competition where it’s full all weekend. There is a great atmosphere.
“We don’t often have the opportunity to play with teammates like in the ATP Cup or Davis Cup. It’s a format I like. ”
Echoes of Big Ben
It is not raining
When I arrived, it was impossible to take a train to the city center. The reason ? The outbreak of a three-day strike in the railway sector. The largest of the last 30 years. The union represents over 40,000 workers. We can understand that the British are nervous as the summer season approaches.
A tourist trap
At the airport, I met someone who offered me a taxi at a “friendly” price for the trip to the hotel. My fare is 100 pounds (122 Canadian dollars) he told me. I start calculating the exchange rate quickly. He also asks me to pay in cash before the race. Despite his insistence, I refused and decided to keep my plan A. He ran away as soon as he appeared in front of me. Welcome to London!
The mess everywhere
Much has been said about the chaotic situation at Montreal-Trudeau airport. Dear readers, we must console ourselves, it is not better elsewhere. When I arrived at Heathrow Airport in London, the observation was similar. There were dozens of suitcases scattered everywhere. The lines at the various counters were as long as in Montreal. When we confront each other, we console ourselves.