"We all believed Laver Cup has the potential to be taken very seriously, so we are" - Felix Auger-Aliassime on his argument with Gael Monfils
Felix Auger-Aliassime, along with his Team World teammates, reckons the Laver Cup has the potential to become a very serious tournament. They're , therefore, taking the event very seriously, regardless of the fact that it's only an exhibition on the ATP calendar at the moment.
On Day 1 of the 2023 edition, Auger-Aliassime was involved in an argument with Team Europe's Gael Monfils, leading to an exchange of words between the two:
"They call me and they tell me how (the Laver Cup) will be so nice; we can be free. And then I feel like, (this s**ks?] because it hurt him, you know, it hurt him. And I don’t want to hurt him,” Monfils told Bjorn Borg.
"What have the people that brought him here told him?” Auger-Aliassime said in respose to Monfils' comments about the lack of seriousness at the Laver Cup.
Expanding on the argument at a press conference at the end of Day 2 in Vancouver, the Canadian admitted that things had gotten a bit too heated between him and Monfils.
At the same time, he maintained his stance about the Laver Cup being a serious tournament that players should approach the same way that they do other competitions.
"Yeah, look, it's competition. Things got a little bit, yeah, heated in the moment, a bit of tension. I was just kind of talking to the referees, talking to him about what rules he was applying, I guess, between the rules we're used to in tournaments or different rules," Felix Auger-Aliassime said.
"Because I came in thinking, yeah, I have played this tournament, and I think everybody involved, not just myself, we all believed that Laver Cup is a tournament that I think has the potential to be taken very seriously, not just now but also in the future, so we're taking this seriously," he added.
Felix Auger-Aliassime: "Gael Monfils is somebody I appreciate, so there is no tension outside of what just happened"
Felix Auger-Aliassime was quick to point out that his argument with Gael Monfils ended on Day 1 itself and did not extend off the court.
He hailed the Frenchman as someone he appreciated a lot and was glad to continue his normal relationship with him.
"Yeah, things got a bit heated for a couple of games, but I'm happy that we were able to finish the match. Gael is somebody I appreciate, so there is no, I think, tension outside of what just happened in the few games there." Felix Auger-Aliassime said.
Interestingly, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Gael Monfils met on the court on Day 2 of the Laver Cup in doubles.
Auger-Aliassime partnered with Ben Shelton, while Monfils combined with Hubert Hurkacz. The Canadian-American pair came out on top in straight sets. Heading into Day 3, Team World has a 10-2 lead over Team Europe.