Felix Auger-Aliassime says he's eagerly anticipating Wednesday's showdown with No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev in Monte Carlo, calling the German the current leader among the ATP Next Gen players.
The 18-year-old Canadian has been on a roll in 2019, reaching at least the quarterfinals in three of his four most recent events, including the final in Rio and the semifinals in Miami. In Monte Carlo, he beat qualifier Juan Ignacio Londero in straight sets on Tuesday.
Zverev, meanwhile, has not won back-to-back matches since reaching the final of Acapulco in February. Still, the 21-year-old is ranked No. 3 and has captured three ATP Masters 1000s and the ATP Tour Finals in his career.
"It's him who more or less is dominating the next generation at the moment," Auger-Aliassime told press in French at Monte Carlo. "He has been there for a few years, has some titles behind him. So it's an experience for me to face him, to measure myself against him. It's a big occasion."
Both players like playing on clay, and Auger-Aliassime thinks he can be competitive despite their big difference in experience and ranking.
"I have belief in my tennis," the world No. 33 said. "I will try to do my best. I hope I can adapt my game against his, and also try to impose myself on the game."
Zverev is also anticipating a good contest with the newcomer.
"He’s been one of the best young guys on tour this year," Zverev said. "I’m very happy for him because he’s one of the most humble and nicest guys that I know."
Auger-Aliassime's opening-round victory ensures him a spot inside of the Top 30 in the rankings.