Montreal-Born Tennis Star Félix Auger-Aliassime on What Comes Next

In May 2022, under the bright lights of the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, Félix Auger-Aliassime faced off against one of the game’s all-time greats, Rafael Nadal. Though he was just 21 years old at the time, Auger-Aliassime had been advancing steadily through the ranks of professional tennis players since turning pro in 2017 — but was he ready to face Nadal, one of the most successful players in tennis history, and a dominant force on the clay courts of the French Open?

During the four hours that followed the match’s first serve, Auger-Aliassime mounted a formidable challenge to Nadal’s supremacy, forcing the so-called “King of Clay” to a fifth set for just the third time in his French Open career. Nadal came out on top, but Auger-Aliassime nonetheless remembers the loss fondly. “Until the end, I believed that I could win,” says Auger-Aliassime, now 23. “He was just too good. It was so bittersweet, and it’s such a good memory that I’ll always have. That was definitely a special one.”

“I think by the age of six or seven, I knew I wanted to be a tennis champion.”

Félix Auger-Aliassime

Montreal-born Auger-Aliassime has become an increasingly prominent name on the pro tennis circuit in recent years, boasting both a 2021 win over Roger Federer at Germany’s Halle Open and a starring role in the hit Netflix docudrama Break Point, in early 2023.

An ongoing sponsorship deal with Swiss luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer has further raised his profile, placing the young player in the esteemed company of Formula One world champion Max Verstappen, PGA star Tommy Fleetwood, and pro surfer Kai Lenny. “It was an amazing honour for me, joining such a prestigious watch brand at such a young age,” says Auger-Aliassime, who was initially approached by TAG Heuer just two years into his professional career.

TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 smartwatch
TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 smartwatch.

Among the perks of joining the Swiss watchmaker’s star-studded roster of talent was the chance to begin building an ever-expanding collection of watches, the first of which was a TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 smartwatch. “I use it pretty much every day,” says the sportsman, praising the model’s workout-tracking function, heart rate monitor, and battery life. But it’s not Auger-Aliassime’s only TAG Heuer — with additional watches in his collection including a Carrera, two Aquaracers, and his current favourite, the Monaco “Dark Lord,” an homage to a classic 1970s model with a black-on-black DLC titanium case.

Back on the court, tennis has always been a family affair for the Canadian, whose father coached both him and his sister from an early age. “It always was his dream, I think, to be a tennis player, and so when I was born, and my sister was born, that’s the first sport he showed us,” Auger-Aliassime says. “I think by the age of six or seven, I knew I wanted to be a tennis champion.”

Tag Heuer Monaco “Dark Lord”

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Tag Heuer Monaco “Dark Lord”

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Tag Heuer Monaco “Dark Lord”

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Like the majority of his contemporaries and peers, Auger- Aliassime’s childhood revolved almost entirely around tennis, with school, weekends, and vacations all structured to prioritize time spent on the court. “I don’t have any regrets from growing up that way,” he says. “In order to be the best at what you do, you have to prioritize things and put things that are most important in front. So that’s how it was for my family and me.”

And yet, while Auger-Aliassime now lives in Monaco — a popular home for tennis players due to its close proximity to the many high-level competitions in Europe — he insists that his life isn’t as glamorous as a Monégasque address might suggest. With a busy travel schedule and a rigorous training regimen that includes at least two hours of on-court play every day, he doesn’t have much time for casinos or nightlife. “The funny thing about living in Monaco is that, of course, it is a glamorous place and there are a lot of people who have money, but I’m not one of them,” he reasons. “My priority is training, then just going back to my place and resting, and then going to a restaurant.”

“I’m a big believer that good things come in life when you deserve them and when you’re prepared to receive them.”

Félix Auger-Aliassime

After being forced to withdraw from the 2023 Halle Open with a left knee injury, Auger-Aliassime has struggled to regain the momentum of previous seasons this year, with losses at both Wimbledon and the US Open. He remains bullish about his prospects, however, and confident that his best seasons lie ahead. “My goal is to improve as a player, and even though I haven’t spent as much time on the court this year, I feel like my game is going in the right direction. I’m a big believer that good things come in life when you deserve them and when you’re prepared to receive them.”