“I can't speak for him” – Felix Auger-Aliassime on dip in Gael Monfils' performance after altercation with Canadian at Laver Cup
Canadian tennis star Felix Auger-Aliassime recently refused to comment on his heated exchange with Gael Monfils during the 2023 Laver Cup in Vancouver, Canada.
Team World's Auger-Aliassime and Team Europe's Monfils came face to face for a singles match inside the Roger Arena on Day 1 of the Laver Cup. Both the players got involved in an ugly spat in the opening set over Monfils' over-stretched breaks in between the points.
Auger-Aliassime registered his discontent with the chair umpire but the Frenchman defended his actions which made matters worse. Monfils looked out of touch for the remainder of the tie as the Canadian secured a straight-set victory.
On being asked during the post-match press conference about whether he believed the controversy affected his opponent's efficiency, Auger-Aliassime said:
"You have to ask him what happened, I can't speak for him. I will never do that."
The Candian further defended his actions saying it was unacceptable for him to let the opponent disturb his rhythm and kill time, saying:
"But on my part, yeah, the 3-2 game, and it's not like, you know, even in ATP tournaments, sometimes we'll try to -- players or opponents will try to get in your head and will try to play around the lines of the court."
"That's okay, but it's also I think okay for me to step up for myself and be like, Look, I'm here to compete, and I'm not going to let my opponent kill the time and try to, you know, kill the rhythm on my serve," he added.
Felix Auger-Aliassime further admitted that he didn't expect the matter to worsen as quickly as it did.
"I don't know, it escalated quite quickly for some reason. Yeah, for somebody who has followed my career for a while, I'm rarely [angry] in these situations. Yeah, it was very weird, in a way," he added.
Felix Auger-Aliassime & Ben Shelton to take on Gael Monfils & Hubert Hurkacz for a doubles tie on Day 2 of Laver Cup
Team World maintains a sizeable lead over Team Europe as they won every single fixture on Day 1. Team Europe's first triumph came on Day 2 from the racket of Casper Ruud, who defeated Tommy Paul 7-6(6), 6-2 in Match 6.
Felix Auger-Aliassime has been a constant face for Team World at the Laver Cup over the last couple of years. His debut appearance in the year 2021 was a disappointment as Team Europe ran riot to win the tournament 14-1. The Canadian, however, guided his team to their maiden title last year.