Tsitsipas On Felix: ‘I Might Never Beat Him’
Stefanos Tsitsipas has had an answer to nearly every question asked of him during his ascent up the ATP Rankings. But the #NextGenATP Greek star has struggled to solve one puzzle: Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The 18-year-old Canadian defeated Tsitsipas for the second time this year on Friday at the Fever-Tree Championships to reach the semi-finals of the ATP 500 tournament. This is a budding FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry that fans can follow for years to come, but Auger-Aliassime has had the clear edge.
“It does worry me. It’s upsetting obviously that he’s better than me. I have to accept that he’s better than me. I might never beat him, but if I think that way, just need to wait, years maybe, for that chance to come,” Tsitsipas said. “If not, then not. If yes, then fantastic. I’ll donate, I don’t know, 10,000 for that win to a charity.”
Not only did Auger-Aliassime beat the Greek star at Indian Wells in March, but he also won their three ITF junior circuit meetings.
“I only beat him in doubles,” Tsitsipas said. “He has the whole package to play big. I’m sure if he ever gets the difficult chance to play Nadal, Djokovic, or Federer, he’s going to beat them, for sure. I will not be surprised if he gets wins over those guys.
“We will definitely see him in the Top 5. Maybe not this year, but next year or the year after.”
The biggest difference in their battles has been Auger-Aliassime’s performance when his serve has been under pressure. The teen faced seven break points in each of their matches this year, and has saved them all. Tsitsipas joked about how his lack of conversions against Felix could put him in the Guinness Book of World Records.
“It is very difficult, because he has one of the best returns on the tour. He has a really powerful, accurate serve, which is tough to read. He’s really quick and fast, which is rare to find all of those together, combined. Big forehand, big backhand. He can create a lot of opportunities from his backhand, but also, at the same time, he can be very aggressive from the forehand side,” Tsitsipas said. “There’s not much to come up with when you play against him. He’s pretty much solid from everywhere.”
Tsitsipas, who won last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals, is only 20 himself, and he is at a career-high No. 6 in the ATP Rankings. Although he fell in the quarter-finals at The Queen’s Club, there were positives to take from winning his first two grass-court matches of the year after an opening loss in ‘s-Hertogenbosch last week.
“Happy with the way I played. Did a lot of things. I can take a lot of things from that and move on,” Tsitsipas said. “I gained some experience and some understanding of the game on grass.”