It's difficult not to be impressed by Auger-Aliassime's play in the Rotterdam ATP 500. And it led him to defeating Rublev and Tsitsipas. I call it “Felix first title”.
This was Felix first title in nine (9!) attempts. Everything came together during Felix Auger-Aliassime's week in Rotterdam. He was extremely solid even on his weaker backhand, the serve was firing and the concentration and resolve rarely wavered. His opponents sometimes looked befuddled at the pace the ball came at them.
It's clear that Auger-Alissime has unlocked something in his game. His talent was never in doubt, but sometimes you wondered if his head was there. At the ATP Cup and in Rotterdam, he has shown that he has reached the next level. He has played well in the slams with a quarter-final in Wimbledon (lost to Shapovalov), semi-final in the US Open 2021 (lost to Medvedev), and the quarter-final in Australian Open 2021 (lost to Medvedev in five sets).
Ready for more
What does this mean for Auger-Alissiame and the rest of 2022? I think we can expect more. His level of determination is much improved by the looks of it and he is also playing with even great calm than before. It's difficult to overlook the potential impact that Toni Nadal has had on him.
This is what Aliassime had to say about his work with Nadal:
“Yeah, it was good I mean. Through conversations, through work on court, I think I've been able to just learn and just kind of take a lot of information from Toni and then cross it and see what I can take from that, learn from that.”
“So just him being there, being present is a huge source of motivation and more than anything, a source of confidence and trust,” Auger-Aliassime said on The Match Point Canada podcast.
“I think to summarize what Toni has brought [this year], then he's brought a lot of confidence in the team, that we're on the right track, he's brought confidence that making the semifinals of Grand Slams are challenging but it's something that's doable, something of a normality than something that's extraordinary.”
What racquet does he use?
Aliassime uses an older version of the Babolat Pure Aero VS. You can check out his specs here.
If you're curious about the newer version of the Babolat Pure Aero VS, I have a review here and a comparison with the HEAD Extreme Tour here. And I talk about similar spin and control racquets here.