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Felix Auger-Aliassime during a press conference at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship on 28th February, 2023. Photo Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Felix Auger-Aliassime is one of the promising players on ATP Tour and the Canadian is no hurry to stake his claim at the top of the rankings. The world No 9 says No 1 is his dream, but he is willing to be patient and for his time.

“Ultimately in my career I would love to be No 1 at some point, but you can’t force these things. You can want it all you want, and many wanted to be No 1, some were able to do it, some weren’t able to do it,” said the 22-year-old after defeating Maxime Cressy in a three-hour duel in the Dubai Tennis Championships first round.

Tricky contest

The Canadian has been a regular visitor of Dubai, but in his first match at the championships Auger-Aliassime was given a good test by his opponent, who had beaten him in the Wimbledon Championships. After winning the close first set in a tie-break, the 2021 US Open semifinalist lost the second before running away to a 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 winner.

Cressy’s unique style made Auger-Aliassime a bit nervous in their previous encounter, but this time he took on the challenge and waited patiently for the 36th ranked American to make mistakes.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime in action against Maxime Cressy at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship on 27th February, 2023. Photo Clint Egbert/Gulf News

“I knew it would be tricky. I knew I had to stay calm and composed and wait for my chances. When it came, I was fortunate at some point to be able to break in the third, then to keep going forward and win,” Auger-Aliassime said.

“When we played in Wimbledon, I got a bit too frustrated, too nervous and too emotional, in not accepting the challenge. This time around, I look at it as a different style of tennis. You don’t always play the same type of players, so you find a way through. It’s good to win matches like this, it’s good for my confidence,” he added.

Motivating factor

Though the focus is on world No 1, Auger-Aliassime says the goal motivates him to stay focused on the current and doing it right on a daily basis.

“I feel like putting a goal or saying you want to do it, is not going to get you there. For me it’s about focusing on the day-to-day, being motivated, but without being too excited. Just finding the right balance coming to every match with the right intensity, but also staying calm and patient is important. You don’t get those results overnight, there are a lot of good players, Novak is the best player in the world today, in my opinion, I want to be there one day, but my time will come if I deserve it,” he concluded.