'Close to my heart' - Felix Auger-Aliassime reveals what Roger Federer said to him in Laver Cup farewell
Felix Auger-Aliassime left no one in any doubt about the level of the impact Roger Federer has had on him - as an idol, as a person and as an inspiration. The Canadian was gushing in his praise of the Swiss superstar, who has retired from professional tennis following his final doubles rubber with Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup. Auger-Aliassime has recalled how important Federer has been to him.
'I felt all the emotions' - Auger-Aliassime reveals what Federer said to him after farewell
"It was funny to hold him up when we celebrated him like the champion he is," Auger-Aliassime told Eurosport.
"It was very emotional - good emotions - and obviously, you reminisce and remember all the moments that you watched him play in huge matches and Grand Slams. Amazing points, amazing matches he has played.
"To see his greatness one last time, it was a pleasure to be there in person. As a kid, I'm still very young and just remember watching him and idolising him. It was emotional for me too.
"I felt all the emotions, and to see him so genuinely touched and Rafa and Novak and his whole family. It is special, truly special.
"It just proves how big of an impact he had on the sport.
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"You know, being the nice person that he is, he took the time to give everyone a hug around the court, all the players.
"He just said 'I wish you a great career, Felix' and just that moment, that phrase, was truly special for me.
"I will keep it really close to my heart because it was his night. He still took the time to wish me the best in my career going forward, and I wished him the best for what is to come, thanking him for everything he did for the sport and sport in general. Also, for the way he inspired the youth, it is amazing.
"If I have the opportunity to thank him again I will. He deserves all the praise and all the good words. It is not just to sound nice, it is because he is just a humble person, generous and kind. That is how he treated me from the first time I met him at the age of 17.
"He invited me to train and we shared some good moments on the court and outside of it. He has always been really generous with his time and with his kindness. Above all, that is how I will remember his career."
Watch Federer receive emotional welcome day after final match at Laver Cup
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