World number 10, Felix Auger-Aliassime, attributed his first-round defeat at the French Open to health concerns, emphasising the need to prioritise his well-being. The Canadian tennis star suffered a 4-6, 4- 6, 3-6 loss to experienced Italian player Fabio Fognini on Monday, abruptly ending his campaign at Roland Garros.
Auger-Aliassime's shoulder problem, which forced him to withdraw from the Lyon quarter-finals last week, persisted during his match against Fognini.
However, the young talent disclosed that his health struggles extended beyond the shoulder issue. He revealed that he had fallen ill the previous night, resulting in a lack of sleep and hindering his performance on the court. Additionally, he battled cramps throughout the match, further impeding his movement and overall gameplay.
While acknowledging his physical setbacks, Auger-Aliassime expressed disappointment but acceptance, stating, "The shoulder is not great, but that wasn't the issue today. I got a bit sick last night, didn't really sleep. That's just a reality."
Despite his determination to compete, the Canadian tennis prodigy admitted that the combination of illness and physical challenges had taken its toll, leading to his defeat.
Looking ahead, Auger-Aliassime aims to focus on recuperation and returning to full health during the upcoming break. He expressed hope of participating in the grass court season in two or three weeks, albeit with a cautious approach. Understanding the importance of understanding the root cause of his recent health setbacks, the 22-year-old plans to undergo thorough medical tests to gain clarity on his condition.
"I think I must go home, take some tests because I didn't have time to do specific tests. I have to do a battery of tests to see why I was sick here, why I was sick a week ago and see what's happening," Auger-Aliassime explained, emphasising the need to identify the underlying issues.
(With inputs from Reuters)