Although perhaps more than necessary, Félix Auger-Aliassime tries to imitate Rafael Nadal. The hiring of uncle Toni Nadal is no coincidence. In the end Toni was a fundamental piece to be able to see the best version of the winner of 22 Grand Slams, and that is what the Canadian hopes that he will end up playing in his favor in the future.
Aliassime, 22 years old and current number nine in the world, explained that the relationship with Nadal has changed in recent times where, according to him, he has shown that he belongs to the group of the best. “Rafa has always been very correct, kind and humble with me, but our relationship has changed a bit since he confirmed my place among the best.
Respect the player that I am and can become”, commented the Canadian. It is a reality that Félix’s talent is indisputable, with real options to be one of the best for the coming years. But his irregularity has also been revealed, so much so that he has not even appeared in the last rounds of the Grand Slams.
Throughout their careers, Nadal and Aliassime have met three times on the ATP circuit, with a record of two wins and one loss in favor of the Spaniard. But the last one was in the hands of the Canadian, and perhaps that victory in the 2022 ATP Finals is where he grabs hold to say that now the winner of 22 Grand Slams looks at him differently, as a rival to be reckoned with.
At least that’s what he seems to think. Do you see in Félix Auger-Aliassime the potential to be a “big” winner in the near future of the ATP circuit?
Rafa had a Grade 2 iliopsoas injury
Mary Joe Fernandez picked Rafael Nadal as the perpetual favorite at the Roland Garros championship.
“If Rafa’s healthy, I’m still going to say Rafa,” the former World No.4 said. “Someone who wins the tournament 14 times, to me is the favorite every time they play, even if they haven’t played all year,” the American said. “He becomes a different player on the clay, he becomes a different player at the French Open,” Fernandez said.
“Until he stops playing he’s going to be the favorite,” she claimed. Although it is not yet official, Rafael Nadal’s renunciation of the exhibition with Carlos Alcaraz scheduled in Las Vegas on March 5 indicates that the Majorcan will almost certainly miss the Indian Wells Masters 1000.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion did not start 2023 well, exiting prematurely at the Australian Open (where he was defending the title) and suffering a second-degree lesion to the ileo-psoas. Just over a week ago, the former world number 1 canceled himself from the ATP in Doha and Dubai.
Although Rafa waited a while before forfeiting, they were already aware in Qatar that he would not play. Proof of this is that Nadal’s face did not appear in any advertising blowup, as he intended to play more matches than usual to regain confidence after the problems of recent months.