With respect to Sam Querrey, who withdrew from Roland Garros just as American tennis fans were waking up to watch tennis, Sunday's biggest off-court news pertained to a much younger player who pulled out of the clay-court Slam. Felix Auger-Aliassime, the 18-year-old whose surging, exciting play has taken him to 28th in the world, bowed out of the tournament with a groin injury.
The Canadian felt a problem during yesterday's Lyon final, which he lost to Benoit Paire, 6-3, 6-4:
LYON ATP 250: Felix Auger-Aliassime loses 6-3, 6-4 to Benoit Paire in the final. In p.c. after said his groin injury got worse after 1st set. He thought about stopping but didn't want to ruin Paire's win. He said they will decide in next few days if he can play Roland Garros. pic.twitter.com/L0Uz0lTur9— Tom Tebbutt (@tomtebbutt) May 25, 2019
"I don't think it would have changed much," said Auger-Aliassime when asked if he should have pulled out of the final. "I think the damage was done. I was really, during the finals, I don't think I got it hurt more. I don't think I would have saved my chances of playing here. I think it happened before.
"I just, you know, in the finals, I was just trying to manage to finish the match. But even after that, I was okay. It hurt, but maybe, yeah, two days, I was waiting to see the results, so I didn't want to say that I had no chance of playing. I just wanted to get an MRI done first. After seeing the results, we thought it would be better, more careful to pull out."
Auger-Aliassime will rise to 22nd in Monday's new ATP rankings. And yet, from Tumaini Carayol:
Felix Auger-Aliassime withdraws from Roland Garros. Incredible that he will be ranked 22nd tomorrow yet has never completed a slam match. https://t.co/tkoiYtTVWF— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) May 26, 2019
"I want to play in Stuttgart on grass in two weeks," said Auger-Aliassime. "So to say things clearly, my lesion is only a grade 1, so I should heal within seven to ten days if I'm careful. I hope to be back for Stuttgart.
"If I had played five sets on clay, I run the risk of worsening the lesions. This is why we decided I should pull back. And I hope I will be back in a tournament in two weeks."
Lucky loser Alejandro Davidovich Fokina will replace fellow tongue-twister Auger-Aliassime in the main draw; as Auger-Aliassime was seeded, there will only by 31 men's seeds in the draws.