Heart issue forced Auger-Aliassime to retire in first round of US Open

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WATCH—Court Report from Day 1 at the US Open:

Felix Auger-Aliassime says a reoccurring heart problem forced him to retire during his first-round match against fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov at the US Open.

Auger-Aliassime did not come in for a press conference for some hours following the encounter and did not take questions, but said he wanted to provide a statement to address "the speculation or anything."

"I think I had a good first two sets and then [change of sides at 1-0 down in the third set] my heart rate wouldn't go down," he said.

Doctors examined him at 2-0, placing him on his back on the court with his feet on a chair, but did not give him anything.  

The teenager described his elevated heartbeat as "something I've had before," but indicated he did not know the source of the problem.

Though Auger-Aliassime held in the next game, he again had to lie down and put his feet up on his chair at the next change of sides before retiring.

"I just had to stop," he said.

Shapovalov, who hugged his tearful friend at net and sat down with him following the encounter, was reluctant to discuss the physical problems.

"I don't want to talk too deep about it," said Shapovalov. “Yeah, there's not much I want to say publicly just in terms of his sake and my sake."

The pair have been playing each other since juniors, but it was their first meeting on tour.

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