INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – Félix Auger-Aliassime was expecting a more substantial challenge from Carlos Alcaraz, after beating him the first three times they met.
There were extenuating on all three occasions. But on Thursday night in the Indian Wells quarterfinals, the 22-year-old faced full-force Alcaraz.
And although the Canadian played a fine match, it was all he could do just to stay close.
As he came into press quickly afterwards (which is always ideal because the emotions are still so fresh, but too rarely happens), he was still replaying the match in his mind. It was, on some level, as though he was still on court suffering through it – looking for solutions that never materialized because his opponent was just too good.
In short, Alcaraz just never let him breathe out there. He turned the first set into an exhausting, draining encounter.
What Auger-Aliassime now knows is that he, and a lot of other players, will simply have to raise their level – in all aspects of the game – to compete with him. Because Alcaraz, despite being 19, is already there.
Here’s what he had to say (in French, translated with English subtitles).
SO much good stuff in here.