Eight finals played. Eight finals lost. For a player considered the next big thing, the mentality seemed to be missing for Felix Auger-Aliassime. The 2022 season promised great things for the next-gen players. The Top 3 were finally, with a combination of injuries, Father time, and some very questionable stance on the vaccine had suddenly created a void. A void that suddenly was open to being filled by anyone.
And for Felix, it seemed another season would pass him by.
Some moments stood out like all of his previous seasons. He finally got rid of the monkey on his back by winning his first-ever ATP tour title, the Rotterdam Open defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas. Along with Shapovalov, he guided Canada to the ATP Cup. There were a couple of wins over current World no.1 Carlos Alcaraz (overall 3-0 record in favor of Felix), another final appearance at Open 13 Provence, where he lost to Andrey Rublev, and other scattered performances that were all too inconsistent.
The inconsistent performances are best captured at his poor showings in the Grand Slam, a QF loss in the Australian Open, fourth round, first round, and second round appearances at the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open, respectively. It seemed that this supposedly ascending player was instead losing altitude.
A Swing in Momentum
And then came the win over Novak Djokovic at the Laver Cup. Representing Team World, the win sounded a knell over what was to be Roger Federer’s victorious swansong from tennis. What followed that win has nothing been short of exceptional.
16 consecutive wins. 3 consecutive ATP Tour titles won, the Swiss Indoors, Firenze Open, and the European Open. Suddenly the humble, quiet player was replaced by a talent who was finding all his range that tennis fans had thought would never come.
Holger Rune broke the run in the Paris Masters Semi Final but one that secured his position at the Nitto ATP Finals. However, he fell at the group stage in the Finals; his win over Nadal was exceptional, completely contrasting to his loss against Taylor Fritz. The season is still not over for a man who has risen to 6th in the ATP Rankings and has the Davis Cup to look forward to.
A man reborn, 2023 promises to be a big season for Felix. Can he continue the rich vein of form in which he has ended the ATP Tour, or was this just a flash in the pan? Irrespective, if Felix Auger-Aliassime can maintain this confidence, he will be a serial contender come 2023.