‘It was going to come eventually,’ Felix Auger-Aliassime talks next generation at Indian Wells
Felix Auger-Aliassime discussed the ‘change in generation’ at Indian Wells as the ‘Big Three’ all remain sidelined for the event.
The Canadian star, who reached his first ever Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open last month, is part of a young contingent of male players at the California-based event.
With Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer all absent, the 21-year-old said the transition was inevitable and believes he has the chance to go deep at the Masters tournament.
“It was going to come eventually. A change in generation. Novak is still number one, and Roger and Rafa we will see how they come back,” said the world number 11.
“But they have done it so many times in the past in their careers. They are going to be tough to beat for as long as they play.
“Having tournaments like this where the average age of the top eight seeded players is 23, you know that it is going to be highly competitive.
“But as a young player, you try and establish yourself with those top players who will dominate or win the big titles in the year to come.
“For me, the challenge is big, but at the same time the motivation is big as well to try to play well to end the season and put myself with those best players in the world.”
Auger-Aliassime will begin his third Indian Wells campaign against either Italian star Lorenzo Musetti or experienced Spanaird Albert-Ramos Vinolas and is part of a strong contingent of Canadian players in both the men’s and women’s draw.
“In more and more tournaments now, we have a great field of Canadian players in both the men’s and women’s draw, which is great to see,” Auger-Aliassime said.
“Apart from Milos [Raonic] who is sidelined with injury, everyone is here. We sometimes have good results and bad results, but all of us are playing great tennis. Hopefully it is a good tournament for all of us here.”
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