The Ascent To The Throne Begins For Felix Auger Aliassime

#1
Mark it down: July 21, 2015! The Prince Regent of tennis, 14-year-old Felix Auger Aliassime, recorded a main draw Challenger match win in straight sets over Andrew Whittington 6-3, 6-2. He did not face a break point and won exactly 50% of receiving points.

This win was a much anticipated second chance for the King-to-be to record a main draw win on the Challenger circuit, having qualified for the main draw in the Drummondville with three wins over Lin, Guccione and Wolmarans before withdrawing due to an abdominal strain.

This week he has also qualified with two wins over Lin and Aubone.

Next up is #8 seed Darian King of Barbados. Good luck or Bon Chance, Felix!
 
#11
I'm sure he will stumble along the way but he has all the shots already and he is just two weeks shy of his 15th birthday on August 8th. How could he not eventually assume the throne?:eek:
Federer, Sampras and Laver are all born between the 8th and 12th of August. Felix will be the 4th GOAT-candidate born in those dates (if I ever have children, I need to aim for those birth dates!! :eek::eek: )
 
#14
He's listed at 5'10", but who knows how accurate that is.
Just shy of 15, that's just fine. He's probably got at least a year and a half left of growing (either in spurts or just adding the last bit). He could end up anywhere from 6'0 to 6'5 with his current height in mind. Have no clue with regards to his parents.
 
#19
Chanwan said:
how tall is he now?
He's listed at 5'10", but who knows how accurate that is.
According to this article, he had a growth spurt last fall and is now 6'1". Great height if he stays within a couple of inches of that. https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/e...oise-on-the-pro-tennis-circuit-154455578.html

Montreal's Félix Auger-Aliassime, just 14, making noise on the pro tennis circuit
By Stephanie Myles 19 hours ago Eh Game

GRANBY – Let the hype begin. Or better yet, do the kid a favour and keep it on the down low for now.

But there's no doubt Montreal teenager Félix Auger-Aliassime is creating quite a stir, and his performance so far at the $100,000 Granby Banque Nationale Challenger has only added to it.

And he doesn't turn 15 for another few weeks - in fact, he shares his Aug. 8 birthday with one of idols, 19-years-older Roger Federer.

Auger-Aliassime already was in the history books. When he made his pro debut back in March at a $50,000 Challenger not too far away from here in Drummondville, and won three qualifying matches to reach the main draw, he became the youngest player ever to do that.

When he appeared in the ATP Tour rankings (he's currently at No. 1237), he became the youngest player to earn an ATP Tour ranking. He couldn't play in the main draw; after an abdominal issue surfaced during his qualifying run, it was decided that he'd be better off not pushing it.

Four months later, he got another opportunity against the pros. Tuesday night, after routinely defeating fellow qualifier Andrew Whittington of Australia 6-3, 6-2, he became the youngest player to win a main-draw match on the Challenger Tour.

Whittington, 21, is ranked No. 493 in singles but a top-100 doubles player, was a legitimately good junior who reached No. 6 in the world. He probably thought he was a pretty young guy – until he looked across the net and saw a kid. But he was at a complete loss as to how to attack Auger-Aliassime. Whittington tried to use his entire arsenal, hitting drop shots and taking the net when he could. But he couldn't find a whole in the 14-year-old's game.

His increasing frustration was a panacea to Auger-Aliassime's admitted nerves – nerves that absolutely didn't show much on the outside. The crowd in Granby embraced him immediately, and whole-heartedly. His demeanour was professional, but his flash and enthousiasm were infectious.

He faces Darian King of Barbados, a 23-year-old veteran of the Challenger and Futures circuit who is ranked No. 205, in the second round on Thursday.

Last fall, when he officially joined Tennis Canada's national training centre class of 2014-15, he looked like the little kid he was. The ensuing months have brought a major growth spurt and he's already about 6-foot-1.

"Let’s be honest, size matters. You mustn’t condemn the smaller players, because there will always be smaller players, there will always be a Ferrer, one or two players like that. But it’s more than an asset," Tennis Canada high-performance chief Louis Borfiga told Eh Game. "He has developed well physically, that’s for sure."

But there's more.

"First of all, he has a maturity that’s a little above average, I find. A very mature, intelligent young man. And he has a game intelligence that, for a kid who’s about to turn 15, is above-average. He manages to adapt to the opponent’s rhythm very easily. That’s a natural quality that he has. Tactically he plays quite well, which allows him to compete with anyone," Borfiga said. "He had it in him, and then he was taught how to play, the patterns of play.

"He listens.You have to have the capacity to do it, that’s the talent part. But there are some players you can say it 20, 30, 40 times to. He's able to execute what he's told," Borfiga added.

Auger-Aliassime says a lot of it is mental. "Intensity on each point, having a good intention on each ball, and good depth on each ball," he said. "Those are the things that make the difference. And after that, it’s between the ears."

Auger-Aliassime has an older sister, 16-year-old Malika, who is doing well at the Canadian level on the junior scene as well. But nothing like kid brother, who is 27-4 in the juniors so far this season and whose ranking, which was No. 572 at the beginning of the season, is at No. 69. That means he can already at least get into the qualifying at the junior Slam level, impressive for a kid his age.

"He’s really in the early stages, for me, nothing at all has happened yet. The juniors are the priority. And at the same time, we’re not going to rush him, we’re not going to burn him out. We’ll take our time, and let him mature slowly. We’ll try to hide him," Borfiga said, laughing. "With his parents, we’re managing so far. They’re fantastic. And it's rare that I say that about tennis parents."

Davis Cup captain Martin Laurendeau, who just returned from the tie in Belgium, got a little more excited.

"I've never been so dazzled in all my life, watching a young tennis player," he told the Journal de Montréal.

Okay everyone, remain calm. But what an exciting prospect to follow.

As impressive as the tennis was, perhaps the most impressive thing about Auger-Aliassime Tuesday night came after the match, when he answered questions from a surprisingly large group of rumpled Quebec media types.

He answered naturally, with great poise. And after it was over, he shook each man's hand individually.

Yes, he's 14.
 
#20
I love love love his footwork. He has dancing feet. Reminds me of Rafa in that way.
Not sure I feel comfortable rooting for the same player as you :D. Can you get off the bandwagon please? ;);)

btw, thanks for the article. I think he has a legitimate shot at making it big. Still way too early to tell of course
 

Ironwood

Professional
#22
Felix has powerful groundstrokes and good movement! I happened to catch one of his sets in Drummondville, on the Challenger circuit live streaming. The camera coverage wasn't good...just one camera at the back of the court, but enough to size up his play. He is definitely one to watch!
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
#27
Oustanding point finished with an excellent wrong-footing volley. Style looks like a synthesis of some of the top players today, in that his backhand reminds me of both Djokovic and Nishikori, despite the differing techniques, and the forehand of Tsonga and Federer. He has an eager way of hitting the ball, as though he can't wait for the ball to arrive to him.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
#30
Felix is very expressive with his play and puts the ball in a lot of areas, resulting in a couple of UE there. I don't see any obvious weakness in his game at this stage as he also both returns and serves quite well. Finding it hard to consolidate his break with rash UEs, really going for his shots. First BP saved with an excellent one two punch serve out wide FH winner confidently struck and "slapped" away into the open court. Couldn't save the second BP.. serve was good and the return from King even better, forcing the error.

*3-4.

He's very very eager on the court. These are some of his first matches at this level.
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
#32
He does look truly athletic. The potential is abundantly clear. He's almost hitting lines on the return.
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
#34
I saw the extended highlights some months back for the other challenger event he qualified for. This is the first time I'm watching one of his matches live from start to finish. Hopefully he remains calmer this time in trying to consolidate the break. He's throwing away his advantage again with rash UE and he needs to hold it together. Some of his FH choices are very high risk. DF gives 0-40.

Tame FH UE offers the break back yet again.. *4-5.

Aliassime feeling the nerves in what are his very first wins and even matches on the Challenger circuit. He's playing the better tennis but the less secure tennis and he's undoing all his hard work on return games by gifting breaks back. His game is actually quite exhilarating and he looks a clear prodigy if I ever saw one.
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
#36
That return of Ali's is a serious weapon. He broke his last opponent at will also. King sitting back in the court more now asking Ali to beat himself on the evidence of what he's seen in the last couple of games and Ali misses a BH DTL just long. Vicious power and accuracy followed by a decent enough dropper wins Ali a point for 30-30 against serve. Standard of rallies in the match is very high at the moment, with consistent deep groundies. King still sittingback and allowing Ali to attack, who misses a FH CC wide... it seems Ali's instinct is to attack. His backhand CC is particularly excellent. Ali goes for the set with an ambitious DTL FH return winner off the King second serve.. nets it.

He keeps nailing these returns over and over. King holds... finally.

5-5.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
#39
Ali holds easily — great defence from King in the last point, and vicious FH aggression from Ali.

Aliassime is obviously very young but it's clear already that he has a lot of game. I can see elements in his game that echo those of the current top playersthat will resonate with Federer and Djokovic fans and he has an eagerness and passion about his play that will probably resonate with Nadal fans.
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
#42
King in trouble on serve yet again — Ali's return has serious mustard. Some notes:

  • Excellent return game
  • Superb CC backhand
  • Forehand with bite
  • Natural attacker
  • Already has an OK slice
  • Already tries to play an all-court game but it's very nascent
  • OK serve
  • Expressive shot-making and attempts numerous high tariff shots
  • Very athletic
  • Very eager
  • Backhand considerably better than FH at the moment in redirecting pace
King just couldn't get out of trouble on the serve, as Ali breaks for the set 7-5.
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
#46
This guy has an awesome return game. Love his offensive style
Add him to your sig, as well as the YOUNGER Ymer brother. ;)

Is there also a third bro? I can't remember. Anyway, it seems clear that there is a lot of talent on the horizon that will easily usurp the Dimitrov/Raonic/Nishikori gen — if they ever truly reach ascendancy in the first place, that is. Thing is, Ali is from the next generation after Coric/Kyrgios/Kokkinakis and really after the likes of Zverev, Rublev, Tiafoe, E.Ymer and others.

I can imagine Ali having a somewhat Nadalian rise though as opposed to the more normal path, given that he's clearly exceptionally prodigious.
 
#47
he has an eagerness and passion about his play that will probably resonate with Nadal fans.
Not just the passion but it's the footwork that resonates with me and reminds me so much of Rafa and he also has a high tennis iq like Rafa.

He's going for a lot more shots than he did in his first round match, perhaps feeling the pressure of playing a seeded player but damn he's exciting to watch.
 
#48
Add him to your sig, as well as the YOUNGER Ymer brother. ;)

Is there also a third bro? I can't remember. Anyway, it seems clear that there is a lot of talent on the horizon that will easily usurp the Dimitrov/Raonic/Nishikori gen — if they ever truly reach ascendancy in the first place, that is.
Maybe I will :D
Never seen the younger Ymer play unfortunately. Not sure the Dimitrov/Raonic generation will ever get their time in the sun. By the time Djokovic is done the youngsters will probably be ready to take over. And I say that as a Dimitrov fan
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
#49
Not just the passion but it's the footwork that resonates with me and reminds me so much of Rafa and he also has a high tennis iq like Rafa.

He's going for a lot more shots than he did in his first round match, perhaps feeling the pressure of playing a seeded player but damn he's exciting to watch.
Yes, I saw enough of the first round match after the fact (as the matches are archived) to get the impression that he was nervous, cautious and just wanted his first Challenger main draw win. Now he's really expressing himself. His footwork and overall fundamentals are unusually developed for his age. Compare his footwork to say Dimitrov's at 19/20 .. makes me chuckle. Heck, compare it to Dimitrov's even now.. probably not much in it.
 
#50
King in trouble on serve yet again — Ali's return has serious mustard. Some notes:

  • Excellent return game
  • Superb CC backhand
  • Forehand with bite
  • Natural attacker
  • Already has an OK slice
  • Already tries to play an all-court game but it's very nascent
  • OK serve
  • Expressive shot-making and attempts numerous high tariff shots
  • Very athletic
  • Very eager
  • Backhand considerably better than FH at the moment in redirecting pace
King just couldn't get out of trouble on the serve, as Ali breaks for the set 7-5.
agree and i think he looks so natural playing tennis without effort, flows like federer :p
 
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