THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Is it a bit like the Medvedev match last summer in Toronto?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: No, different. Really different. No, Medvedev — I was up in the third, up in the tiebreak. Yeah, maybe similar to today, but was different. Today I felt like — I started well, but after that I wasn’t playing as well as the match, I think, last year was a really high-quality match. It was even more disappointing because it was at home and I was leading by a lot.
I think this time, I felt like, I don’t know, in the second I felt — physically I felt just not great. I was up a break, but something wasn’t right. I just felt like I was on the edge, yeah. I was really close to getting broken every time.
Then eventually turned his way and I kind of had 30, 40 minutes where I lost my rhythm. Like, I wasn’t sure what to do anymore. I tried to fight, stay in there. For sure paid off, I felt I was close to winning. Tough to swallow, but at the same time he deserved it, as well.
Q. Did you think at any point today to that match three years ago in Granby?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: No, not at all.
Q. Too far away?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Zero. No, sorry, but not at all, yeah.
Q. You said you had a tough time to get the rhythm. Do you think it’s because of the condition of Indian Wells or the fact that your opponent is a lefty and he uses kind of a little bit different speed on shots?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, because, you know, from first set, start of second, I was playing well. Yeah, I think it started physically, and then I think he adjusted his game and felt like he had maybe a bit of a hole.
And then, yeah, he kind of just started playing high on my backhand. I wasn’t hitting as much forehands. I was struggling to dictate the points, struggling to move, the serve, as well. From there, it was tough.
But I don’t think it’s because of the conditions. I think the conditions were as usual. They were pretty great, yeah.
Q. Essentially you’re saying fatigue was a little bit of a factor for you and you were kind of able to re-energize. Is that one of your takeaways?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, for sure, but I felt good today, waking up, everything. But in the second, yeah, I had a bit of a hole. I couldn’t find my energy again. I couldn’t find that power again.
Yeah, I don’t know how — like, you know, you just try some things, you try to stay in the match. Eventually, you know, back against the wall, I think I found a second speed, more energy.
For sure, fatigue. If I felt a bit more fresh probably maybe I would have been able to play better in the second.
Q. Tennis is a funny game, but you’re down 3-1. You win four points in a row in the tiebreak. You’re up 5-3, and then you lose four points in a row.
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, that’s tennis, I guess. You see all kinds of matches. I’m not the first guy to lose a match like this. Not going to be the last guy, for sure. Different types of matches.
But credit to him, because at 5-3, I hung in there. We had a tough rally, and he just stayed in there. So credit to him for that. And I didn’t serve bad after, from 5-4. I think he just played good points.
Yeah, I don’t think it was — at the end, I think it was, overall, the match, yeah, just — I think the match wasn’t played in the tiebreak at the end.
Q. You did some tentative smashes. Was it the light? The conditions?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, it switches from playing during the day. I was making my overheads during the day, and then I shanked one. I was lucky to get one. And then the first point of the tiebreak, I completely missed one. With the lights, you kind of lose the ball. You don’t know where it is.
So, yeah, that’s the kind of adjustments I have to be able to do. Yeah, that was a bit of a factor.
Q. If you step back and take a look at your last months, making the final in Rio, a lot of wins racked up, you must have some positive takeaways.
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, for sure, tonight was a tough one, but if I look at the big picture, if you told me two months ago I’d be top 60, I’d be really happy with it. I knew I could do it, had something within me, but how everything went was good for me.
I’m going to take the positives from this tournament and try to move on.
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, I’m in quallies next week. I will sit down with my team and make a decision about that. Now the plan is to play next week in quallies, yeah.
Q. Would you hope for a wildcard?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: We’ll see. I don’t know. That’s not in my control.
Q. His lobs… Was that a factor?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I missed an overhead, like, it’s the kind of stuff that happens. It’s high, but, I mean, yeah.
Q. How frustrating was it, because basically most of the match you dictated. You dictated from 5-1 into the tiebreak. It was kind of in your hands a bit.
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, most of the matches I’m going to play are always going to be like this unless I play a really aggressive player. I’m always dictating the points, I’m always making the winners, the mistakes. I think I did a lot of mistakes today caused by a bit of fatigue.
Yeah, credit to him because I was putting a lot of pressure on him even at 5-3. He hung in there physically. I felt like he was there, he was good. Credit to him for staying solid.
Q. In the third set when you were coming back from 1-5 behind, what were you thinking? Did you feel like you’d get your momentum back?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: It was tough to believe, because I wasn’t playing good at all. It was really, you know — he was really dominating. Okay, I’m down match points. I’m like, Okay, I’m going to try to win this one. I eventually broke back 5-2, and then I saw a little bit of an opening. Let’s try and win my first game. I was only one break down after that. I thought I might have a chance. Maybe he’s going to get tight serving for the match.
I gave myself a chance. I can be happy with myself for that. Obviously the outcome is tough, yeah.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2019-03-12 03:32:00 GMT