Felix Auger-Aliassime began 2023 after a breakthrough end his 2022 season. The Canadian won three consecutive indoor events in Florence, Antwerp, and Basel. Hopes were high heading into the new season, but what transpired was an often difficult year for the 23-year-old. This article provides the highs and lows from Auger-Aliassime’s season.
Felix Auger-Aliassime 2023 Season Review
The biggest high of Auger Aliassime’s season came in his penultimate tournament of 2023 in Basel. He entered as the defending champion, but expectations of that being repeated were low. However, Auger-Aliassime suddenly rediscovered his indoor prowess in Switzerland to claim the title once again. His run included a demolition of Holger Rune in the semifinal, a dramatic final set tiebreak win against Alexander Shevchenko in the quarterfinal and defeating this year’s Shanghai Masters champion Hubert Hurkacz in two tiebreaks. It was Auger-Aliassime’s fifth ATP title.
The former US Open semifinalist also began the season quite strongly. He narrowly failed to reach the Australian Open quarterfinal after losing a very tight contest to Jiri Lehecka. Semifinal and quarterfinal appearances then followed in Dubai and Qatar. Auger-Aliassime fell in both those tournaments to 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, who played excellently on both occasions to beat the Canadian. The 14-time ATP finalist then progressed to the quarterfinals in Indian Wells, where he lost to this year’s Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz.
Auger-Aliassime was performing solidly in the early months of the season and seemed to be setting himself up well for the rest of the 2023. But his fortunes suddenly changed after that.
Auger-Aliassime’s form plummeted from the beginning of the clay-court season. The Canadian only managed one victory on the dirt in the four tournaments he played, which was against the current world No. 148 Pablo Llamas Ruiz in Lyon. His poor run on the clay included a straight sets loss to 36-year-old veteran Fabio Fognini at the French Open, who is far past his prime. Although clay is not Auger-Aliassime’s favourite surface, it was still a fall from grace for the man who took 14-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal to five sets at Roland-Garros last year.
The five-time ATP champion’s results continued to spiral downward after the French Open. He lost seven of his next eight matches, including first-round exits at Wimbledon to Michael Mmoh and at the US Open to Mackenzie McDonald. Auger-Aliassime’s game was unrecognizable from the one seen in the closing stages of the 2022 season. The big serve was not finding its spots, and his usually formidable forehand became one of the most error-prone groundstrokes on the ATP Tour.
Media attention continued to grow during Auger-Aliassime’s slump, which likely prolonged the period even longer. A turning point came with a quarterfinal run in Tokyo in October, which saw the Canadian win consecutive matches for the first time since Match. He then won the title in Basel at his next event.
Overall, despite the run in Basel, 2023 represented a bump in the road for Auger-Aliassime. However, he is still only 23-years-old, and has much time to reach the very top of men’s tennis. Hopefully, the momentum built from the closing stages of this season can help him on that journey.
Main Photo Credit: Geoff Burke – USA TODAY Sports