18-year-old Auger-Aliassime says offseason surgery fixed heart problem
Felix Auger-Aliassime is confident his heart problems are behind him following a surgical procedure during the off-season.
The 18-year-old Canadian had occasionally experienced an irregular heartbeat, which forced him to stop playing during the first round of the 2018 US Open. He had also retired with the problem during the 2015 Guadeloupe Challenger.
“It only happened twice when I was competing,” Auger-Aliassime told British press at Miami.
Still, the second of those times was on a memorable occasion. Playing his first Grand Slam match against friend and fellow countryman Denis Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime appeared to be having problems breathing on a hot day at Flushing Meadows, having to retire from the encounter.
“It was tough to swallow,” he said. “I had always dreamt of playing the Grand Slams and my whole family was there.
“But the cardio thing I have dealt with since I was eight, so I wasn’t scared for my health or anything.”
But he says the problem now appears to be fixed. Auger-Aliassime underwent surgery during the 2018 offseason and has not experienced it since, climbing from below the top 100 to the top 35 following his run to the semifinals in Miami this week.
“It took a lot of years because they couldn’t find where it was coming from, the palpitations. I went on the table again, and they were able to find it – it was really easy,” he said. “I know a lot of people who have done that surgery and it’s pretty common. It’s not something that I even think about any more.”