Tennis-Auger-Aliassime’s career turns full circle with win over idol Tsonga

ATP 500 - Rotterdam Open
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – ATP 500 – Rotterdam Open – Rotterdam Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands – February 12, 2022 Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime celebrates after winning his semi final match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw/File Photo

February 18, 2022

(Reuters) – Felix Auger-Aliassime said his career turned full circle on Thursday after the 21-year-old defeated childhood idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the quarter-finals in Marseille.

Auger-Aliassime fired seven aces and won 83% of his first-serve points to beat French wild card Tsonga 7-6(2) 6-2 at the ATP 250 tournament, extending his winning streak to six matches.

The Canadian, who won his maiden ATP Tour title in Rotterdam last weekend, embraced Tsonga at the net after the match.

“When the match was coming to the end, I knew it was going to be a special moment, a full-circle moment,” Auger-Aliassime told reporters. “He was my top idol growing up and I saw myself in him at times.

“The other great players, I couldn’t relate to them. They seemed they were from another planet but Jo seemed like a big brother.

“I told him how much he was my idol when I was growing up and he told me to aim for the stars and not be shy and I can go to the top.”

World number nine Auger-Aliassime, who reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open last month, will next face Belarusian Ilya Ivashka.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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