Canadian tennis star Felix Auger-Aliassime said it was emotional watching Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s last match and admitted he will be emotional when the time comes for Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to retire.
Tsonga, 37, played the last tournament of his career at the French Open. On Tuesday, Tsonga suffered a four-set loss to Casper Ruud in the first round of the French Open. Auger-Aliassime grew up idolizing and admiring Tsonga.
“Yes, it was very emotional. I was watching it at home and it brought tears to my eyes, because it’s crazy to see players you’ve admired since you were a child retire,” Auger-Aliassime said, according to Sportskeeda.
“I feel like I’m going to feel the same when the best players, Rafa and Roger and Novak retire” Auger-Aliassime is only 21 years old and will probably be around for at least a decade.
“It’s a strange feeling, because in a way I can relate to that and put myself in that position where one day I’m going to play my last game, my last game, my last point,” Auger-Aliassime said.
“When you get to that point, it’s really emotional” Tsonga, who turned professional in 2004, looked quite emotional towards the end of his match against Ruud.
After 18 years on the ATP Tour, Tsonga retired and was visibly emotional during and after his final match.
“I didn’t watch the final, I watched the quarter-final (against Djokovic) a bit before I went to sleep. In general, it’s just unbelievable what Rafa has achieved.
The record of Pete Sampras, which I beat, was 14 Grand Slam titles. Now Rafa has won the French Open 14 times,” Roger Federer said. “That’s unbelievable. I was happy for him that he did it again. Hats off to Rafa. After the 10th or 11th time, I already thought: This can’t be.
He keeps raising the bar. It’s gigantic.” Stating that making a full recovery was far more important to him than the number of tournaments he competed in, the Swiss was of the opinion that the light schedule of the Laver Cup was a good place to start at.
“I haven’t planned more than the Laver Cup and Basel yet. After Basel, the season is over anyway. It’s important for me to get fit again so that I can train fully,” Federer said.
“Once I’ve done that, I can choose how many tournaments I play and where. The Laver Cup is a good start, I don’t have to play five matches in six days.”