Felix Auger-Aliassime was disappointed but not deterred.
The Canadian star slipped a two-set lead – including a match point in the fourth set – Daniil Medwedef in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. But in the early hours of Thursday morning in Melbourne, the 21-year-old Felix showed maturity far beyond his years.
“I can go back and think I wish I had made other choices, or I wish Daniil had not played so well at certain moments. But, yes, it was a good effort, “said Auger-Aliassime. “At the end of the day, I can not regret the effort I put in and the opportunities I gave myself. I like to look at it in a positive way.
“Of course I would like to win. I love winning every time. It’s bad to lose in the end, but it’s life. I just have to accept it. “
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The loss will sting, as it is the second consecutive year that Auger-Aliassime has lost two sets at the season’s first major. But there were many positive aspects to take out of the show. It was a world number 9 top attempt to put his second-seeded opponent on the brink of defeat.
“I always believed I could produce what I did tonight. I showed it, but it’s definitely the difference between knowing you have it inside you and actually showing up and doing it and being close [to] win, ”said Auger-Aliassime. “But of course it’s good, I mean, it’s good for myself. It’s a world of competition, so in the end I think it’s a good message I’m sending to my teammates, the people I’re competing with.
“I am ready to test myself with the best, and I have proven it time and time again.”
What made the difference in the end? As Medvedev noted in his press conference, he faced match points, so even a missed first service could have changed the outcome, and Felix could have been in his second consecutive big semifinal.
But Medvedev has been cool under pressure through the last three sets. In the decision, the Russian saved all six breakdown points he faced and converted his one opportunity.
“We both did not want to give up. It is no surprise that he is where he is now. He fights, tries to find solutions. He plays well when he has to. “I think that’s the big difference, we saw this week how the players play well, they play well when it matters,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I think he was just a little more clutch than I was. Sometimes a little more solid. [That] come with experience too, I think. “
Auger-Aliassime added that he is eager to put himself back in this position with the belief that he will be able to “cross the line” in the future. But for now, the Canadian plans to reflect on his positive start to the season and use the momentum he has gained in the coming weeks and months.
“I wish I could go back and change it, but I can not. So I have already accepted it. It is what it is. I look at it in a very positive way. So far, I have played two tournaments this year. I showed good levels again today, ”Auger-Aliassime. “It is a pity that I could not win, but it was a good match. I showed good things. I will leave Australia with my head held high, and I will enter the rest of the season knowing that I can play well, I can play well against the best players in the world. ”