BARCELONA—Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime battled through unfavorable conditions and a determined local hopeful to win his opener Wednesday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, setting a third-round showdown with Frances Tiafoe following a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 victory over qualifier Carlos Taberner.
Afterwards, Baseline caught up with the world No. 9 to learn more about his approach to colder temperatures, training for clay and trading football tricks with one Carlos Alcaraz.
Needless to say, it wasn’t a fun day of weather out there. When it’s colder and drizzling, how do you ensure not allowing circumstances beyond your control get into your head?
FAA: Well, it's the same conditions for my opponent. So I always keep that in mind, that he's also going to struggle. And it's about who is gonna find a way to still find his best game, find solutions to play well, to overcome the conditions. In the end, it was okay. There was a bit of rain with the stops. It's never easy or ideal.
The conditions got heavy in the second set with the balls, there were a lot of rallies. And that's never good for my style of play. But I'm proud of the way I fought, the way I dug deep to try to overcome the difficulties I was facing and to get the victory.