July 11, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

Hip strain leads to sudden FAA retirement

In Halle on Monday, Félix Auger-Aliassime was down a set and a break to German wild card Dominik Koepfer when, after awkwardly returning a serve,. signaled “no más” to the chair umpire and just up and retired.

It certainly came as a surprise to the crowd and his opponent, from the look of things.

The cause, Open Court was told, was that he pulled something in his hip, after slipping on the grass. Hopefully it’s not too serious.

It was Auger-Aliassime’s first match on the grass after his run at Roland Garros, which ended in a loss to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz during which he had an issue with his adductor.

Auger-Aliassime was due to play ‘s-Hertogenbosch last week, but withdrew before the event.

He clearly didn’t want to risk anything; on the first day in the OWL Arena stadium, the grass is pretty pristine and lush. And also: extremely slippery. That’s true at any grass-court tournament; the footing gets better as the baseline gets worn.

On the changeover prior to that last game, Auger-Aliassime spent most of the time trying to kick pieces of sod from between the dimples on the soles of his grass-court shoes. Without much success, it should be said.

Despite the break in each set, Auger-Aliassime had won just two fewer points than Koepfer to that point (49 to 47).

He had 16 aces and no double faults. The serving was poor merely in those two games in which he was broken.

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