'Crazy' to see me as a Wimbledon favourite, says Auger-Aliassime
London (AFP) –
Felix Auger-Aliassime showed up the stumbling NextGen flops at Wimbledon on Monday, becoming the first man born this century to win at the All England Club but described talk of him as a potential champion as "crazy".
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are leading the 'NextGen' youngsters tipped for the top in tennis but crashed out of the Wimbledon first round.
However, 18-year-old Canadian Auger-Aliassime kept them on their toes by creating a little bit of history on his debut at the Championships.
The 19th seed beat compatriot Vasek Pospisil 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 to register his first Grand Slam win.
"With the level I'm playing now and my ambitions, I look forward and I look to go even further than that," the teenager said.
The 2016 US Open boys' champion said the bookmakers' odds on him winning Wimbledon were unrealistic.
"It would be a cool story," he conceded.
"If I can go all the way, I'll go all the way. But it's a bit exaggerated to put me as maybe a fifth- or sixth-favourite to win the title. That's a bit crazy.
"I'm already going faster than the majority and they want me to go even faster which I think is not sometimes realistic.
"People have to relax. I'm 18."
- 'I didn't deliver' -
Meanwhile Tsitsipas and Zverev said they had plenty of rethinking to do -- and questioned whether they were made of the same stuff as the giants they are trying to replace such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
German sixth seed Zverev, 22, long tipped as a future Grand Slam champion, lost 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely, the world number 124.
Greek seventh seed Tsitsipas was beaten 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 6-3 by world number 89 Thomas Fabbiano of Italy.
"People expected things from me. I didn't deliver," said 20-year-old Tsitsipas.
"When you get so much support, so much energy, so much positivity from everyone, and just ruin everything by yourself, it's devastating."
As for the suggestion that things were just all happening too fast, the Australian Open semi-finalist said that was no excuse.
"Rafa and Roger seemed very mature and professional in what they were doing, they had consistency from a young age. They always did well tournament by tournament without major drops or inconsistency.
"Something that we as the Next Gen players lack, including myself, is this consistency week by week."
After losing to the lowest-ranked player ever to beat him at a Grand Slam, Tsitsipas was asked if he would take some time off.
"Maybe I don't deserve a break," he shrugged.
- 'I'll figure it out' -
Zverev failed to reach the Wimbledon second round for the first time ever.
"I didn't lose this match on tennis. It's just my confidence is below zero right now," the 2013 boys' world champion said.
"I get down on myself a lot.
"Everything that happens outside the court affects you. The last two days, I would say, are very rough for me personally. I'm not going to get into details."
Now Zverev wants to sort himself out in time for the US Open at the end of August.
"I have a few months until the US Open. I'll figure it out. I've always said that the US Open this year is the tournament that I think I can have my breakthrough at the Grand Slams," he recalled.
? 2019 AFP