Felix Auger-Aliassime rates Andy Murray’s performance in US Open thumping
Felix Auger-Aliassime admitted that Andy Murray wasn’t at his ‘peak’ in their one-sided US Open meeting but believes he still gained an understanding of how the Briton is such a ‘great champion’.
Auger-Aliassime announced himself to a British audience with a comprehensive 6-2 6-3 6-4 win over the three-time Grand Slam champion from Dunblane, hitting 52 winners and 24 aces in a stunningly crisp display.
Murray had been feeling the effects of a gruelling first-round win over Yoshihito Nishioka – his first five-set match since his hip resurfacing operation – but Auger-Aliassime’s level was still remarkable given his young age.
He had watched Murray dismantle Feliciano Lopez in similar fashion on the same court nine years ago, aged just 11, before turning the tables on Murray on Arthur Ashe on Thursday night.
‘It wouldn’t be fair for me to say that he was at his peak tonight,’ said the 15th seed. ‘I know. I have seen Andy play. I could see it was in his emotions and what he felt that it wasn’t his greatest night.
‘Obviously me playing well was obviously probably even tougher for him. But I still felt like when he needed to he could play well.
‘You know, he would come up with good shots, good serve. You could still feel his touch is really good. He doesn’t miss too much backhands.
‘But I know in his peak he would be even more solid. But even though he wasn’t his best tonight, I still felt and I understood why he was a great champion with the way he was able to make you earn every point and, you know, you needed to play well to win a match like today.’
Murray’s compatriot and former world No. 4 Greg Rusedski insisted that Auger-Aliassime could win the tournament if he maintained the level he brought against Murray, but the world No. 21 isn’t getting too far ahead of himself having never been beyond the third round of a Grand Slam before.
‘Well, obviously I’m here to go as far as I can, and if that’s winning the tournament, then that will be it,’ he added.
‘But I’ve got to start by – it’s only the third round, early in the tournament. You know, these things are new to me, later stages of a Grand Slam.
‘So I’m not really, you know, focusing myself on this yet, because even if I play well today, it doesn’t guarantee anything for the upcoming matches.
‘But knowing that I did that today, I think obviously brings a lot of confidence, and if I can repeat that, obviously, like Greg said, I will give myself good chances.’
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