The Ascent To The Throne Begins For Felix Auger Aliassime

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
If Felix defeats Basilashvili and Nick defeats Coric, will we have a Felix-Nick quarterfinal match!!!!
Looking forward to this one! NK will be under pressure facing a younger guy who's more talented than he is. I think Kyrgios believes he is the most talented young guy on tour, and that probably is why he behaves so recklessly and arrogantly, but once he sees FAA, I wonder how he will feel. It will be a great match as well.
 
In one year, who do you think will be the top three Canadians? How about two years?
Me? I'm not a fan of predictions. I rarely even dare to predict any result of any match Félix plays! :D

But since you ask... in a year, I don't know, it might depends on Milos's health, but I believe it could be any of the three in any order. They'll probably be very close in the rankings. In two years, I believe it's going to be Félix first and probably Denis in second since unfortunately I doubt Milos's health is going to improve as the years go by. :(

Edit: actually, maybe even Félix in a year. He's ahead of Denis in the live rankings.
 

Beacon Hill

Hall of Fame
Me? I'm not a fan of predictions. I rarely even dare to predict any result of any match Félix plays! :D

But since you ask... in a year, I don't know, it might depends on Milos's health, but I believe it could be any of the three in any order. They'll probably be very close in the rankings. In two years, I believe it's going to be Félix first and probably Denis in second since unfortunately I doubt Milos's health is going to improve as the years go by. :(

Edit: actually, maybe even Félix in a year. He's ahead of Denis in the live rankings.
I agree with your assessment. Will the 3 of them ever be all in the Top 20 at the same time?
 

NuBas

Legend
Looking forward to this one! NK will be under pressure facing a younger guy who's more talented than he is. I think Kyrgios believes he is the most talented young guy on tour, and that probably is why he behaves so recklessly and arrogantly, but once he sees FAA, I wonder how he will feel. It will be a great match as well.
What are you talking about, he has to get past Basilashvili first and same goes for NK. But if they encounter, FAA too business-like to lose to a silly guy like Kyrgios.
 

NuBas

Legend
Watching Felix, he reminds me of a blend between Djokovic, Federer, and Tsonga. Maybe a bit Nadal in him too but only grunting wise.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Let me know when the fatigue sets in...it’s hot in FL today and this is his sixth match this week with a couple of the matches at 2 hours plus (9 hours total court time).
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
Felix is the real deal. He's the best 18 year old player I've seen in a long time, possibly since Nadal. His results should start coming by 2020, hopefully sooner.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Next match should be good either way. Against Coric, his point construction and consistency will be tested. Against Nick, we haven't seen him against many big servers. Hopefully that match is at night so he gets a bit more rest and friendlier conditions.
 

jimjam

Professional
Another QF. Into the top 40. Amazing progression.

I just hope he deals well with the inevitable step backs he will have later in the year. He's bound to crash out early (first round) in upcoming tournaments.

Just has to take it in stride and keep working.
 

InvisibleSoul

Hall of Fame
Another QF. Into the top 40. Amazing progression.

I just hope he deals well with the inevitable step backs he might have later in the year. He will crash out early (first round) in upcoming tournaments.

Just has to take it in stride and keep working.
Not quite... looks like he's at #41 now.

If he wins the next match, he could jump as high as #33.
 

ghostofMecir

Hall of Fame
These results seem a year ahead of schedule at least.

Barring injury, his defense and endurance will get better, his serve will get better (and breaking him will become difficult at which point he will be a slam threat), and he’ll have even more confidence.

He also looks like someone who wants to be great at something.

Exciting times.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
These results seem a year ahead of schedule at least.

Barring injury, his defense and endurance will get better, his serve will get better (and breaking him will become difficult at which point he will be a slam threat), and he’ll have even more confidence.

He also looks like someone who wants to be great at something.

Exciting times.
Consider Fed's praise:

"I like his attitude. For someone who is as young as him, it's impressive, we saw it in the past with Lleyton Hewitt or Rafael Nadal, guys who are already mentally strong. I think we can put him a bit on that category. I am always happy when he wins. I will definitely follow him in the next 15 years."
 

ghostofMecir

Hall of Fame
Consider Fed's praise:

"I like his attitude. For someone who is as young as him, it's impressive, we saw it in the past with Lleyton Hewitt or Rafael Nadal, guys who are already mentally strong. I think we can put him a bit on that category. I am always happy when he wins. I will definitely follow him in the next 15 years."
Strong, strong praise from the GOAT. The funny thing is that it’s true and how you can tell by just looking at their faces. Nadal from the beginning and Hewitt from the beginning had this look on their faces that screamed “determination and hatred of losing.” With FAA, you also see a player who knows he’s growing and getting better and that he understands the process and knows it will take time to get to where he wants to be. That's a scary thing for the rest of the tour.
 

reaper

Legend
It's happened remarkably quickly for FAA. Complete stagnation for 6 months from August last year to February, now rocketing up the charts.
 

ghostofMecir

Hall of Fame
If everything goes right, this guy has everything needed to literally be in every match plays on every surface (don’t know about grass yet, but with his returning ability, movement, and height, I can see great things there, too).

Federer is seemingly ALWAYS in matches because he has the greatest combination of hold game and break game in Open Era history, and that’s incredible given that he’s got a one-handed BH, which is a big disadvantage on tour since the advent of the two-hander. All the best returners have two-handers (Djoko, Murray, Hewitt, Agassi, Connors, Ferrer, Davydenko, Nalbandian, etc.) but Federer’s ability to stab at serves and get them back in play and then win rallies allows him to get so many break opportunities. Federer as a 36-37 year old has only been blown out two matches in the last 52 weeks (Djoko at Cincy, Coric at Shanghai with Zverev at the Tour finals another possibility [score looks close but Federer won nothing at all on return but held serve well.] Look at his dominance ratio. He gets clearly outplayed maybe 4-5 times a year even in his mid-30s.

I can see this with FAA.

1) His return instincts are above average, but he has a big reach and returns well off of both wings. Unless you have a great serve, he’s going to be threatening to break which is a problem because

2) His hold game in a few years will be really, really good. His serve is already getting up in velocity off of easy power and as he gets stronger and works that toss and motion, his serve will improve like Fed’s, Murray’s, Delpo’s, etc., ALL did and at 6’4, he’s going to be a monster in hold games.

3) He has very good movement and can generate power off of strokes to win 50-50 rallies.

He’s going to be holding, breaking, threatening to break, holding at love and will be a nightmare to deal with. We just need this guy to be injury free.
 

I Am Finnish

Talk Tennis Guru
Consider Fed's praise:

"I like his attitude. For someone who is as young as him, it's impressive, we saw it in the past with Lleyton Hewitt or Rafael Nadal, guys who are already mentally strong. I think we can put him a bit on that category. I am always happy when he wins. I will definitely follow him in the next 15 years."
Fedr - aliassime must happen soon:)
 

vernonbc

Legend
There's an interview with Felix on TC at this link too. http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2019/03/auger-aliassime-reaches-his-first-masters-1000-quarterfinal-miami/80577/

Auger-Aliassime reaches his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal in Miami
The Canadian was forced to qualify for the main draw in South Beach, showing the value in not taking short cuts.

By Steve Tignor
March 26, 2019

MIAMI, Fla.—By 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, as Felix Auger-Aliassime took his final practice cuts on the Grandstand court here, the heat was already fierce enough to make a non-Florida native a little woozy. The fans that had begun to gather for the Canadian’s noon match with Nikoloz Basilashvili struggled to make it up the stairs, and wiped the sweat from their foreheads as soon as they sat down.

Auger-Aliassime isn’t a Florida native—he grew up in chilly Montreal—but he didn’t seem to have a problem with the conditions. The 18-year-old drove himself through all of his pre-match drills with the same, self-contained, ultra-serious focus we’ve come to expect from him during matches.

Which was a good thing, because he was going to need all of that focus on a day like this, and against an opponent like the 18th-ranked Basilashvili, who has rarely met a ball he desperately hasn’t wanted to pulverize. Auger-Aliassime, who came through qualies in Miami, had already won five matches here, three of them in three sets. (I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is the last tournament where we’ll be able to call him by that semi-pejorative term, “qualifier.”)

It was clear from the start that, in these conditions, with two opponents who appeared evenly-matched, this wasn’t going to be match that was going to be won with glamorous ball-striking skills. It was going to be a match that, like a lot of ATP matches in the later rounds of big events, was going to be won in unglamorous ways: Because one player could dig deep and find a first serve when he was down break point; because one player would miss an easy ball he should have made in a tiebreaker; because one player would persevere through a few bad errors, in the hopes that his opponent might make the same errors a few minutes later.

You might think that Auger-Aliassime—a teenager, a tour rookie, half-gassed from five matches and a ton of tennis over the last two months—would not have been that player. He was irritable for much of the first set, complaining to his camp about the way he was flicking at his backhand, pointing to his head after he made bad decisions, throwing his arms up in exasperation when a fan’s cell phone went off in the middle of his service motion. While Auger-Aliassime is 6’5”, he looks even more wiry up close than he does on TV; if this match was going to be a test of raw physicality, the 27-year-old Basilashvili was probably going to prevail.



At 5-5 in the first set, the FAA bubble seemed to burst when he missed three straight forehands and was broken. Had we discovered a flaw in the Canadian’s seemingly ironclad game? On all three points, he missed a first serve, was caught off-guard by the pace of Basilashvili’s second-serve return, and shanked a forehand.
But with conditions the way they were, perfect tennis was never in the cards for either guy today. At 6-5, Basilashvili wasted no time in handing the break back to Auger-Aliassime, which sent the set to a tiebreaker. It was there that Auger-Aliassime showed again what already makes him such a formidable competitor—patience, power, and the ability to forget.

Auger-Aliassime started the breaker with an ace, and came up with two more to swing the score from 3-4 to 5-4. Just as impressive, though, was the way he recovered from a double fault. Rather than let it bother him, he took the next ball—a second-serve return from Basilashvili much like the three that Auger-Aliassime had shanked earlier—and nervelessly sent it down the line for a winner. Up 6-4, set point, Auger-Aliassime did the same thing to close it out.

Earlier this month, Auger-Aliassime was asked what his biggest strength was. He began by answering, “I’m pretty instinctive,” before pulling back and asking himself if that was the right choice of words. He finally decided that “belief” was more appropriate.

“Instinct? I always have a big belief in myself,” he said. “I go for my shots.”

After watching Auger-Aliassime live for the first time since he turned pro, I would say that instinct was the right way to put it. His performance today reminded me of seeing an 18-year-old Rafael Nadal on a side court in Key Biscayne in 2005. As with Rafa back then, there were imperfections in his strokes, especially on his backhand side. But the Canadian and the Spaniard each have a more important skill: They can leave those imperfections behind at just the right moments. Like Nadal, when Auger-Aliassime faces an important point, he instinctively gets more aggressive, and instinctively chooses the right shot.

Auger-Aliassime has now won six matches in Miami and reached his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal. From his junior days to his Challenger days to this week, when he wasn’t granted a wild card despite being a more-than-deserving candidate, FAA has shown the value of not taking short cuts. He started this match by pointing to his head after his bad decisions, as if to say, “How could I be so stupid?” He finished the day making the same gesture after his winning shots. It was as if Auger-Aliassime was saying the words we want to hear from all tennis players: “I’m figuring it out for myself.”
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
He hasn't played on grass yet but short of a Safin-esque (or general Russian) disdain or lack of comfort for the surface there's no reason he shouldn't be good at it. Short strokes, big serve, compared to his peers his volleying and slicing is near the top of the crop as well. And grass really ain't that different today from other surfaces so it'll be rare to ever see a top guy be bad at it unless it's an extreme case like Thiem.
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
What are you talking about, he has to get past Basilashvili first and same goes for NK. But if they encounter, FAA too business-like to lose to a silly guy like Kyrgios.
You can always hope for a match to happen.



Watching Felix, he reminds me of a blend between Djokovic, Federer, and Tsonga. Maybe a bit Nadal in him too but only grunting wise.
I'd say FAA is an upgraded Djokovic.
 

vernonbc

Legend
Watching Felix, he reminds me of a blend between Djokovic, Federer, and Tsonga. Maybe a bit Nadal in him too but only grunting wise.
Not too observant are you. Felix is unique and his shots are his own but of course some of them are similar to other players. What you missed was his fantastic foot work, very much like Rafa's magic dancing feet, and that's going to take him as far as a lot of his shots will.
 
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