Sam Aliassime: “A ardour could be shared.”

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Félix Auger-Aliassime wants no introduction. The celebrity of Canadian tennis has already carved out a spot for himself among the many world elite. On the 2021 US Open, he grew to become the primary Canadian to compete in a singles semifinal since 1881. In November 2021, the Quebecer was the third-youngest Canadian to enter the ATP High 10. He rose to a career-high rating of World No. 9 on the 2022 ATP Cup when he outmaneuvered No. 3 Alexander Zverev within the ultimate and gave Crew Canada the win. Because the Aliassime title retains gaining momentum, the clan itself stays very humble. And that’s a core worth for the household patriarch, Sam.

The elder Aliassime has been a part of his son’s profession from the very starting however nonetheless makes positive to maintain their tennis relationship as wholesome as attainable. He believes Félix must be a superb particular person first and a champion second, and he’ll inform you that’s one of many keys to the younger ace’s success. 

Picture: @Félixaliassime

Sam Aliassime was launched to tennis in his native Togo, in western Africa. In 1996, on the age of 25, he immigrated to Canada. It was on the Académie Hérisset-Bordeleau in Québec, the place his father labored, that Félix first picked up a racquet. Sam coached his son till he was 12 years outdated and, in 2018, took the reins of the membership, which is now the Aliassime Tennis Academy.

With the Nationwide Financial institution Open introduced by Rogers proper across the nook, we sat down with Sam for a dialog about how essential values are to Félix and the father-son ardour for tennis they share. 

Tennis Canada (TC) – What makes you particularly proud to be Félix’s dad? 

“Félix is somebody who’s extraordinarily beneficiant and humble, and that’s helped him achieve success.”

– Sam Aliassime

Sam Aliassime (SA) – I’m pleased with the particular person he’s grow to be. Greater than something, his mom and I at all times wished to instill good values in him. It was essential to us that he have a really stable basis. If he’d grow to be an amazing tennis participant however acquired out of line on and off the court docket, I definitely wouldn’t really feel as proud. Félix is somebody who’s extraordinarily beneficiant and humble, and that’s helped him achieve success. 

(TC) How did his tennis profession—and your contribution to it—form your father-son relationship? What makes it particular or distinctive? 

(SA) – I at all times had a wonderful relationship with Félix and nonetheless do at this time. In fact, we join by our shared ardour and our journey collectively. 

I’d describe my function on Félix’s crew at this time as certainly one of continuity. In any case, I’m the one who is aware of him greatest. My function as a father and the expertise that comes with age allow me to maintain our objectives in thoughts and put issues into perspective within the tougher occasions. It’s my job to assist him not be harassed and keep calm.

(TC) – As a dad or mum, what’s it like watching your son from the stands (or from the sting of your seat in your lounge!) on the world’s main tournaments? 

(SA) I’m very pleased with all he’s achieved, and I do know he’s simply getting began. However once more, I’m most pleased with how he’s in a position—even at his age—to let his values dictate his actions. I believe that’s one thing we each do. That’s why Félix has at all times been very understanding and respectful after I miss certainly one of his tournaments due to the work I do with the children at my academy. He understands that he has his profession and I’ve mine. One of many issues we take pleasure in most in life is giving again. That’s what Félix is doing by his humanitarian work in Africa and his help for the event of younger gamers right here.

Picture: @Félixaliassime

(TC) – What are a few of your loved ones recollections from the Canadian tournaments? 

“He known as me afterwards and instructed me that he stopped complaining and began taking part in to his true skill after I’d gone.”

– Sam Aliassime

(SA) In fact, we had some tense moments. I particularly keep in mind a U14 Canadian championship in Ontario. Félix was a part of the crew from Québec and was with coaches from right here, however I made a decision to drive as much as see him play. In his first match, Félix saved complaining on the court docket. I didn’t like his perspective in any respect, and he knew it. I left in the midst of the match. He known as me afterwards and instructed me that he stopped complaining and began taking part in to his true skill after I’d gone. So, he’d grow to be conscious of his adverse perspective and the way it affected his recreation. I went again to Ontario for the remainder of the match. He performed some good matches and ended up shedding to Denis Shapovalov within the ultimate. There are many tales like that one, and people are moments we each discovered from. 

(TC) – How is that this 12 months’s NBO totally different from Félix’s first? 

“…he’ll method the match one match at a time like he at all times does.”

– Sam Aliassime

(SA) Félix will definitely arrive in Montréal with extra confidence. He’s within the High 10 now and has gained an ATP title, so he is aware of he can go far in Montréal and perhaps even go all the best way. However nothing could be taken without any consideration and each match will probably be powerful, so he’ll method the match one match at a time like he at all times does.

(TC) – Do you might have any recommendation for fogeys who’re concerned of their youngster’s ardour?  

“I simply wished to coach my son so he would develop as much as be a superb particular person.”

– Sam Aliassime

(SA) A ardour could be shared. I’ve shared my ardour for tennis with Félix since he was a boy, and it introduced us collectively on many ranges. Even so, my concept, or my objective, was by no means to coach a tennis champion. I simply wished to coach my son so he would develop as much as be a superb particular person. I nonetheless use that method at this time with my youngsters and with the younger gamers I coach at my academy. I educate them rigour, onerous work and excellence, after all, however it ought to at all times be enjoyable! 

Picture: @Félixaliassime

Need to catch Félix and Sam in motion this summer time on the Nationwide Financial institution Open introduced by Rogers? Purchase your tickets right here. 

This 12 months, IGA Stadium in Parc Jarry will host the ATP match from August 5 to 14. See your favorite gamers go head-to-head and expertise Canada’s final tennis occasion!  

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