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‘We motivate each other’, says Felix Auger-Aliassime on rivalry between young ATP stars

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Felix Auger-Aliassime has spoken of the developing rivalries between the next generation of ATP stars, saying they “motivate each other”.

The 20-year-old Canadian beat 19-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti in the second round of the Barcelona Open ATP 500 event, before beating 22-year-old compatriot Denis Shapovalov in the third round today.

“I think I’m in the middle of that group where I have some really good players now a little bit older than me, some younger than me,” Auger-Aliassime said in an interview after beating Musetti.

“But of course I think we motivate each other, we’re pushing each other, not directly, but in a way. I think there’s very high competition and that is what tennis is about.

“I feel like I was in his [Musetti’s] place not so long ago, just two years ago. He’s a great player, he’s already [in the] top 100. He’s had some great victories last year and also this year in Acapulco.

“I’ve been seeing him quite a lot and it was actually the first time I’ve played someone younger than me, so time goes fast.

“It was good for me to compete with a guy like this, who I’m going to play many more times in the future.

“But I think he has a great game, a great touch and great tennis IQ. I think he will for sure be good in the future.”

(Photo credit Ray Giubilo)


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