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Tennis world forced to wait for Auger-Aliassime's major breakthrough

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27.05.2019

SPORTSCENTRE Reporter

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PARIS – Felix Auger-Aliassime has played in just one grand slam main draw match and yet he's already made a big impression on the tennis world.

"He's become a very strong player," Roger Federer told TSN before the French Open started. "In the last six months it’s been amazing to see him grow. I’m not surprised, because he came to Dubai to train with me a bit over a year ago and I was highly impressed with his work ethic and already his mental strength ... for a young guy he's got a big tennis IQ and he's probably never really satisfied, he always wants to learn more."

Heading into the season's second major it's easy to understand why there was so much interest in how the 18-year-old would fare in his Roland Garros main draw debut. The Montreal native has rocketed to No. 22 in the rankings after starting the year outside the top 100. And Auger-Aliassime seemed to be peaking at the right time.

He made the championship match in Lyon last week, his second final this season, although it came at a cost. Auger-Aliassime injured his groin during a semifinal win over top seed Nikoloz Basilashvili on Friday. Auger-Aliassime tried to play through the injury, but was clearly compromised against Benoit Paire losing in straight sets. After undergoing a MRI on Sunday in Paris, the decision was made to withdraw from the French Open. ​

"A little tear, a Grade 1 tear, which is not something really bad, but I have to be careful with it," Auger-Aliassime revealed. "And we thought with how I dealt with the pain (in the Lyon final), I wasn't competitive enough to play here, to even try and........

© TSN