Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will have another young player standing in their way at the Grand Slam tournaments next season as both men continue their race to win the most Majors in history. With Carlos Alcaraz winning the US Open and Holger Rune telling Express Sport he could win a Grand Slam title next year, Felix Auger-Aliassime has now been thrown into the mix with his coach declaring that he wants to be a Grand Slam champion as the number of players threatening Djokovic and Nadal’s hopes continues to grow.
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Auger-Aliassime has been one of the most in-form players of 2022, breaking into the world’s top 10 to reach a career-high of No 6, winning four titles including three in the space of three weeks, qualifying for the ATP Finals and being the star of the teams that led Canada to win both the Davis Cup and ATP Cup. And the 22-year-old now looks set to challenge the likes of Djokovic and Nadal at the Majors next year as he becomes the latest young player to stake his claim on a Grand Slam title.
“Felix with his family, their project has always been to win a Grand Slam and be No 1,” the world No 6’s coach Frederic Fontang told Tennis Actu. Explaining how he planned to help guide his protege to a Major title in 2023, the French coach added: “We try to identify what worked and add things in the physical, in the game, in the technical and mental sides.
“It is certain that now he still has to tick off a title in Masters 1000, in Grand Slam and No 1. There is always better to do.” Auger-Aliassime joins 19-year-old Rune in aiming to win a Grand Slam title next season, after the world No 11 told Express Sport exactly why he believed he could win one of the sport’s biggest titles.
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Felix Auger-Aliassime capped off his season by helping Canada win the Davis Cup (Image: Getty)
“I believe I can. I have won ATP 250s, made the final of an ATP 500 and won a Masters 1000,” the Paris Masters champion said. It means Djokovic and Nadal will have even more players in their way as they bid to continue their quest to win the most Grand Slam titles in history, with the Serb on 21 and the world No 2 holding the men’s record of 22.
As well as young players like Auger-Aliassime and Rune holding the belief that they could soon lift their maiden Major trophy, Carlos Alcaraz has also proven that he can already win the biggest titles at the age of 19 as he became the first teenager to win a Grand Slam title since Nadal himself 17 years ago when he won the US Open in September, simultaneously becoming the youngest No 1 in ATP history.
Meanwhile, Auger-Aliassime has already taken steps against Djokovic and Nadal on the tour this year as he got his first win over the world No 5 at the Laver Cup, while he pushed ‘King of Clay’ Nadal to five sets at the French Open, where the Spaniard is a 13-time champion. Asked what stopped his charge from upsetting the 36-year-old at Roland Garros, Fontang said: “50 per cent because of Rafa who is a champion and who won high quality points at the end of the game.
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