Félix Auger-Aliassime lost, again. The Quebecer is going through the darkest period of his young career, but like the captain of a ship in fog, he is master of his destiny. He is simply waiting to find his star to get out of the impasse.

Four hours and seven minutes. This time corresponds to the duration of the only match played by Auger-Aliassime this year at Wimbledon. On Monday, the 12th player in the world ranking fell to Michael Mmoh, the 119th player in the world. Coming from qualifying, the American had never won more than two consecutive matches in the Wimbledon main draw before.

Auger-Aliassime came to the All England Club in London affected and diminished, judging by his mummified left knee. Beyond his troubles with this nerve joint of the leg having forced him to rest in recent weeks, the darling of Canadian tennis fans has never been in the game. He started his match slowly. He made it a habit. However, he was never able to find his bearings, in addition to struggling on most of his strikes. To such a point where we almost wanted the match to end to ease his suffering.

Moreover, if it is not a knee that prevents him from competing, it is a shoulder or gastric problems. In short, even if he plays less, it is not an easy season for him.

If the results are delayed, it is mainly because of his injuries. Never before had Auger-Aliassime had to negotiate with so many health issues. He was spared for a long time. Let’s not forget how eventful the end of the last season was.

If some are worried or perplexed by the turn of events, it is essential to put things in context.

As many Allô Police writers have surely written in times gone by, the facts don’t lie. Auger-Aliassime has been playing for just over .500 since the start of 2023, with a record of 13 wins and 12 losses. For a player of his caliber, this is almost unacceptable.

This performance has seen him drop six places in the world rankings since January and ranks him 36th in the ATP race, a ranking only taking into account the results of the current season. Auger-Aliassime is preceded by Arthur Fils, Sebastian Baez and Christopher Eubanks…

“It’s a tough time right now for my young career,” he said crestfallen after losing at Wimbledon on Monday. After all, I have to be patient. Of course, these are difficult weeks and months. I have to keep working the right way, be patient and trust that the results will come back. »

Precisely, time is without a doubt the best ally of the new ambassador of the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation.

The most important data of all remains his age: 22 years old. Under his air of an established and polished veteran, we tend to forget or overlook the fact that the tall right-hander is the fourth youngest member of the top 15, after Carlos Alcaraz, Holger Rune and Jannik Sinner.

Despite the troubles, Auger-Aliassime has not lost her identity. And even less its DNA. Just a few weeks ago, the day before his withdrawal from Halle, he told La Presse: “I’m a player who wins a lot of points in the first four strikes of the rally, including the serve, so c It’s an important game on grass. The adjustment is perhaps faster than for other players. My travels too. »

The only thing he will have misplaced is confidence. Indispensable in today’s tennis. However, these kinds of impromptu sequences are part of the learning process. Just look at Casper Ruud’s progression curve to be convinced.

At the start of the campaign, the 24-year-old was unrecognizable. He was unable to chain the victories. Until the spring, before arriving on clay, he had lowered the flag in six of his first eleven games. In the space of a few weeks, he triumphed at Estoril and reached the final at Roland-Garros.

The idea is not to compare Ruud and Auger-Aliassime, because the Norwegian has a significant head start. Their talents are similar, but Ruud’s accomplishments are far greater. He was one win away from taking No. 1 in the world last year at the US Open.

The point is rather to prove that everything happens in its time for a young player of the caliber of Félix Auger-Aliassime. He will soon return to the hard surface, his favorite surface. Like Ruud when he walked on clay again, the Quebecer could find his wings.

The first half of the 2023 season is to be forgotten. Figuratively, but not literally. “I’m going to see what I can do to learn, do better in the future and bounce back the right way,” he recalled on the All England Club podium in his Adidas tracksuit.