Felix Auger-Aliassime revealed that he will be heartbroken the day Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer call it a day, much like he was when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga hung up his racquet on Tuesday.
Tsonga, who was one of Auger-Aliassime's idols growing up, played his last professional match on Tuesday, losing 6-7(6), 7-6(4), 6-2, 7-6(0) to Casper Ruud in the first round of the 2022 French Open.
Speaking to the media after his second-round win over Camilo Ugo Carabelli on Wednesday, Felix Auger-Aliassime admitted he was left teary-eyed by Tsonga's farewell.
The Canadian believes he will suffer similarly on the day Nadal, Djokovic and Federer retire.
"Yeah, it was really emotional. I was watching at home, and it was like, yeah, I was getting tears in my eyes pretty much, because it's crazy to see players that you admire growing up retiring," Felix Auger-Aliassime said. "I feel like I'm going to feel the same when the best-of-the-best players retire, Rafa and Roger and Novak."
"When it gets to that point, it's really emotional" - Felix Auger-Aliassime
The Canadian also explained that he can "relate" to Tsonga's situation, since he too will go through a similar phase in his career.
"It's a weird feeling, because I can in a way relate to that and put myself in that position where like one day I'm going to play, like, my last match, my last game, my last point," said the Canadian. "When it gets to that point, it's really emotional."
The 21-year-old highlighted how a tennis player's career typically ends on an emotional note since they put in blood, sweat and tears towards fulfilling their dreams.
"Because you think back probably of since you were a kid, like you are always like looking forward to another match and to another opportunity, to future goals and to see this all ending and think like I'm never going to play another tennis match again when it's been your life for more than 20 years, like Jo, for example. It's quite emotional. It's something," he explained.
Felix Auger-Aliassime also lamented the fact that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's body could no longer withstand the rigors of the tour and allow him to feature on tour for a while longer.
"I think he was also, it was the time, you could see his body wasn't holding up anymore, and I think the image is just very powerful where he gave everything he had until the end until his body couldn't hold up," noted the youngster. "Yeah, he had to let it go. He's a great guy. You know, I hope he stays around tennis and I hope I get to see him often."