Felix Auger-Aliassime news: Coach Toni Nadal isn’t making him play like nephew Rafa

Felix Auger-Aliassime Cameron Norrie

Felix Auger-Aliassime has had a relatively good season so far this year – he reached the quarter finals of the Australian Open, he won the Rotterdam Open and is currently about to play in the Barcelona Open.

But was knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters last week in the opening round so it’s safe to say clay is his weak point.

The Canadian isn’t alone in this success however as he is under the guidance of his coach Toni Nadal, the uncle of 21 time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.

But coach Nadal has no intention of moulding the 21-year-old into the next 13-time French Open winner who is notorious for being victorious on the clay surface, however the world No 9 could do with some tips on how to handle the surface.

“I didn’t have the most amazing clay season last year in terms of results so this year is just an opportunity for me to try to do things better, try to improve on this surface, try to win more matches – so that’s what I’m trying to do,” the Montreal born player explained.

“It starts with the training, it starts with the work that I’m going to put in everyday and Toni helps a lot with that, we talk about the matches and we talk about the game and how I’m supposed to approach matches and the competition.

“He’s been a great help of course, we’ve been together more than a year now so things are doing good, we have good weeks, bad weeks – but at the end the work is great and it’s moving in the right direction.”

Even though it could be easy to believe that if Nadal is training you then you’re going to become the next big thing in tennis and inherit his style, this is far from Auger-Aliassime’s mind and is adamant his coach isn’t trying to turn him into his nephew.

“I’m not Rafa, we have different qualities, it’s tough to replicate what Rafa did in his career and on clay,” he added.

“I’m more of a hard court player and I play well on grass as well, it’s different strengths but he adapted his input.

“He adapts to the player he’s working with so he’s not approaching it like I want to play like his nephew, I think that would be wrong but he has a great knowledge of tennis and he knows a lot so he’s able to help me.”

Auger-Aliassime is next set to play tomorrow in the round of 32 of the Barcelona Open, but his opponent is not yet known.