Tennis-It’s a dream come true for the Canadian Auger-Aliassime
TOKYO, July 18 (Reuters) – It will be a dream come true for Felix Auger-Aliassime when he walks with his teammates Canada in the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday, but the 20-year-old says he will not be going to Tokyo to take advantage of the moment.
Confidence will not be lacking for Auger-Aliassime, who turns 21 on the closing day of the Tokyo Olympics next month, when he makes his Games debut after his recent quarter-finals at Wimbledon – his best ever Grand result. Slam.
His earliest memory of the Olympics dates back to the Beijing Games in 2008, when he was eight years old watching Canadian athletes marching through the Opening Ceremony.
“I was in awe of them and I remember dreaming of one day walking where they walk,” Auger-Aliassime said in the summer 2021 edition of ITFWorld magazine. “Just to see me in their shoes now and to think that there is a kid in the house watching and maybe thinking the same as me, it’s amazing.
“Honestly, I’m so excited. The Olympics have always been a dream for me growing up and my first memory was seeing how big it was. It goes way beyond your own sport or yourself. I love the Olympics and it will be a dream come true.
“Being 20 and being able to say that I’m going to be an Olympian is something very special.”
Auger-Aliassime will lead Canada’s charge at Ariake Tennis Park after compatriot Denis Shapovalov withdraws due to the pandemic.
Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has also joined men’s world No.10 Shapovalov in stepping down over a similar concern.
Daniel Nestor and Sébastien Lareau won Canada’s only tennis medal in the quadrennial when they triumphed in the men’s doubles in Sydney in 2000.
Auger-Aliassime hoped to be able to complete this list.
“I’m not going there just to enjoy the moment,” said the world number 15. “Now it’s about preparing and becoming an Olympian, but once he’s closer to the start it’s more about competing and winning.
“That’s why I’m going. I’m going there to try to compete and win, not just to be a kid making the most of the moment.”
Report by Sudipto Ganguly; edited by Sam Holmes
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