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Major Talk #15 – Frederic Fontang: “A coach is like an architect”

In the latest episode of Major Talk, hosted by Alizé Lim, Frédéric Fontang talks about Felix Auger-Aliassime’s progression, his goals, the arrival of Toni Nadal in the staff and his past experiences with Jeremy Chardy and Vasek Pospisil.

January 10, 2023
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The figures

Frederic Fontang shot to prominence as the coach of Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime but not many may know that he was a former player himself and also worked with the likes of Jeremy Chardy, Caroline Garcia and Vasek Pospisil.

Fontang has played an instrumental role in the rise of Auger-Aliassime, with whom he started working when the youngster was 16 to the Canadian’s current position of world No 6 and among the leading contenders for potential Grand Slam winners in 2023.

The Frenchman took some time away from his busy schedule to chat with Alizé Lim in the latest episode of Major Talk.

He opens up about his own career, his transition in to coaching, collaborating with Toni Nadal and what makes Auger-Aliassime tick.

Aliassime, Fontang and Nadal, Monte Carlo Masters 2021
Aliassime, Fontang and Nadal, Monte Carlo Masters 2021 – © Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic

Key moments of our Major Talk with Fontang

  • 0.44– Reflecting on Auger-Aliassime’s 2022 season which included his first singles title and three more for good measure
  • 1.31: Felix’s future goals and his progression
  • 1:57 – On hearing about the potential of a 16-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime
  • 2:32 – The beginning of their working relationship
  • 3:19 – On the dynamics between the different people in Auger-Aliassime’s team, including his father and Toni Nadal
  • 3:56 – The importance of Felix’s parents to his career
  • 4:18 – On how Toni Nadal got involved in the coaching team of Auger-Aliassime
  • 5:47 – The impact of Toni Nadal on Auger-Aliassime
  • 6:05 – On his own coaching style
  • 7:02 – On training with Rafael Nadal
  • 7:54 – What Auger-Aliassime is missing to take the next step
  • 9:28 – On how the rapid rise of Alcaraz has impacted Auger-Aliassime
  • 10-15: The reason for Auger-Aliassime thriving in team competitions
  • 11:16: Working with Jeremy Chardy and Caroline Garcia more than a decade ago
  • 13:30: The difference between working with a young player as compared to an established player
  • 15:39 – The different roles played by different members in Auger-Aliassime’s coaching team
  • 16:22 – Staying ahead of the game as a coach
  • 19:39 – The role of neuroscience in tennis
  • 20:50 – On his days as a professional player and his transition to coach
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