LONDON | Félix Auger-Aliassime is categorical: Even if the scholarships for the Wimbledon tournament are still lavish this year, he prefers to collect points in the ATP rankings.
• Also read: Next year the Laver Cup in Canada
• Also read: Finished in Halle for Félix Auger-Aliassime
At the end of his training, the ninth hitter in the world met a few minutes to discuss with the world representative MontrealJournal.
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. So some players will slip down a few places after the big tournament, even if they perform well on the London pitch.
Points are worth their weight in gold in the eyes of Quebecers.
“If you give me the choice between points and money, I’ll take the points. Always the points, Auger-Aliassime mentioned. I’m lucky to be in a sport where, like us, you can make money.
“It’s not the same reality for all players. For many, qualifying for Wimbledon and a big scholarship will help pay for their year and their coach.
“I was lucky for me. The money came, but my priority was always to earn points, climb the leaderboard and improve to become a better player.
“My goals have never been monetary. I would rather have points with less money than vice versa. »
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 do not know how the table can be organized.
“If I play my best level, I could end up in the semifinals or the finals. For me, every Grand Slam is an opportunity. I take it like everyone else. »
With the absence of Russian players like Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, the door could open for Fred Fontang’s protégé.
“I don’t know if the tournament will be given a special touch because of the absence of the Russian players,” said the 21-year-old athlete. In 2020, during the US Open, we wondered if there would be an asterisk because of 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 his 2021 Wimbledon points won’t hurt him too much. We’re talking about a drop of a spot or two in the next ATP poll.
The Quebecer doesn’t hide it: Wimbledon is his favorite tournament. And we can understand it very well.
“It’s always nice to come back to a place where you have good memories,” said Auger-Aliassime. I had some good times last year (lost in quarterfinals).
“I won my first Grand Slam match here. It’s a tournament I love. Everything is wonderful. It’s nice to come back here. »
In the first round he meets the American Max Cressy, the 60th racket in the world. If the name Cressy reminds some fans of something, that’s normal.
He won the Challenger tournament in Drummondville last year. Cressy, who is 6ft 6, is a tall waitress. Auger-Aliassime needs to find a way to give him a hard time in return for the serve.
Confirmed at the Laver Cup
This week Auger-Aliassime confirmed his attendance at the Laver Cup, which will be held in London next September. He will be part of the world team, especially with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
“I loved my experience over the last year. Playing with the best players in the world in a competition that’s packed all weekend. There is a great atmosphere.
“We don’t often get the chance to play with teammates like we do in the ATP Cup or Davis Cup. It’s a format I like. »
Echoes of Big Ben
When I arrived it was impossible to go downtown by train. The reason ? Breakout of a three-day strike in the railway sector. The biggest in 30 years. The union represents over 40,000 workers. We can understand that Brits are nervous as the summer season approaches.
A tourist trap
At the airport I met someone who offered to take me a taxi to my hotel at a “friendly” price. My fare is 100 pounds sterling (122 Canadian dollars), he told me. I quickly start calculating the exchange rate. He asks me to pay extra in cash before the race. Despite his insistence, I declined and decided to stick with my Plan A. He ran away as quickly as he appeared in front of me. Welcome in London !
The mess everywhere
Much has been said about the chaotic situation at Montreal-Trudeau Airport. Dear readers, we must console ourselves, things are no better elsewhere. When I arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport, the observation was similar. There were dozens of suitcases lying around everywhere. The lines in front of the various counters were as long as in Montreal. When we compare ourselves, we comfort each other.