Felix Auger-Aliassime after 2R win over Roger Federer: "If it was the final, I would have taken out the champagne"

Roger Federer
Roger Federer

Felix Auger-Aliassime registered the biggest victory of his fledgling career on Wednesday when he knocked 10-time champion Roger Federer out of the 2021 Noventi Open.

The Canadian emerged with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win in his first career meeting with the Swiss great.

While the Canadian was solid for the most part, he was given a helping hand by Federer, who played some of his worst tennis.

Speaking to the media after the match, Auger-Aliassime said the win over Roger Federer would boost his morale and help him in the days to come. He also joked that had it been the final, he would have burst out the champagne bottles already.

"If it was the final today, I would have taken out the champagne,” he said at a press conference. "It's a great victory, I can be proud of what I did today on the court.
"It's very good for my confidence for this tournament but also for the weeks to come. It's a great landmark victory, as they say. I'm going to be able to go back sometimes, watch that game again and see what went well."

Felix Auger-Aliassime also declared it was a "great honor" to face and defeat Roger Federer, who he idolized growing up.

"It's a great honor to play Federer before he retires and winning it's incredible," added the Canadian. "He was my idol growing up. I never thought I would be able to play him one day. I thought he would be gone when I would be a pro".

β€œI couldn't have played much better" - Felix Auger-Aliassime on losing first set against Roger Federer

Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Roger Federer at Halle
Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Roger Federer at Halle

Felix Auger-Aliassime lost the opening set despite being the better player. The Canadian squandered multiple opportunities to break Roger Federer's serve, while the Swiss capitalized on his only break point to take the set.

During the press conference, Auger-Aliassime asserted he could not have played much better in the first set and pointed out how Federer raised his game whenever he needed to.

β€œI couldn't have played much better in the first set,” said Auger-Aliassime. "I had my first chance to break and take the lead. Whenever I had opportunities he played really well and served well so sure sometimes it's a little frustrating but I couldn't ask for much better."

The Canadian said he did not let his head drop after the first set and that an early break in the second raised his confidence.

β€œI told myself to continue, to keep fighting and that at one point, maybe he would hit less first balls," he added. "Once I converted my first break point and that gave me the lead, it gave me confidence and I said to myself: ok I can win return games."

Despite being a long-time admirer of Roger Federer, the Canadian was able to keep his emotions in check which, he believes, helped him close out a historic win.

β€œI think I was able to put emotions aside well,” he explained. "I did what I had to do and served really well, probably the best of the last few weeks. It sure served me well, especially at the end of the game."

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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