When Felix Auger-Aliassime sat down to plan his season, he had one major goal in mind.
“In 2022 I want to win one or more titles,” said the Canadian as he let ATP Uncovered spend some time with him at his off-season training camp at the Monte Carlo Country Club. “I have what it takes to be able to do that.”
Auger-Aliassime was not wrong. Just two months later he clinched his maiden tour-level title at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament, defeating Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas on his way to lifting the trophy.
As the 21-year-old starts his day in Monte Carlo start with a warm-up in the gym under the watchful eye of fitness coach Nicolas Perrotte, he acknowledges that the physical improvements that have brought him so much success on tour have not been built overnight, but over his whole career on tour.
“There hasn’t been a huge change from one year to another,” says Auger-Aliassime. “But [from 2016] until now, for sure my body has changed a lot.”
Auger-Aliassime’s dad, Sam, is nearby enjoying a morning workout of his own. Having his family with him for the off-season is another important part of Auger-Aliassime’s off-season plan.
“I like at the end of the year to bring everybody together. My full team, my agent, my family. It’s similar to what you grew up with, just the people that you care about the most that are here with you. You’re able to have good times off the court.”
The fitness work heats up as Auger-Aliassime and his fellow Canadian, World No. 328 Alexis Galarneau, move out to the practice court for a dynamic warm-up that includes a ball game named ‘Tack Tack’ and a rope jump workout. Tough going for a warm-up, but Auger-Aliassime is built of strong stuff.
“As an athlete, he has a lot of big qualities,” says Perrotte. “Strength, he’s fast as well. He has a good range of motion which is important as well.” All important factors that powered Auger-Aliassime to his maiden title in Rotterdam, a reward for the World No. 9’s persistence after losing his first eight ATP Tour finals. Despite the disappointments, he has enjoyed his Tour journey so far.
“I wouldn’t change a single thing. Maybe I would win a couple more matches. A final or two! But it’s been good.
“I feel like all these challenges that I’m facing now will help me be a better player and person in the future. I like to believe so.”