The Ascent To The Throne Begins For Felix Auger Aliassime

vernonbc

Legend


Felix Auger-Aliassime’s amazing Miami Open is over after defending champion John Isner ended his charge in the semi-finals.

The 18-year-old Canadian has been the surprise star of the tournament, but nerves of the better of him in the semis before crashing to a 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4) defeat.

Even more frustratingly for Auger-Aliassime, he had the chance to serve for both sets, bit was broken each time.

“I think I did the best that I could,” Auger-Aliassime said.

“I probably did the best of all the players that played him this week. I just couldn’t serve from my part.

“It’s a chance you can’t miss, serving two times for the set, and just — I don’t know. It’s just terrible.

“It’s like I caught a virus or something. I don’t know.

“I couldn’t put a second serve (in) any more. Even the first serve, I mean, if you put it in, you don’t have to hit the second serve. Yeah, that’s just very tough to swallow.

“Now I’m going home for some rest. Then I will start training for the clay season.

“Start in Monte Carlo and — yeah, obviously my goals and my expectations, maybe not my expectations, but I’m aiming high.

“I want to play well for the rest of the year, but again, just focus on the daily work. We’ll see what I can do.”

https://www.tennis365.com/atp-tour/felix-auger-aliassimes-miami-open-story-john-isner/
 

vernonbc

Legend
Simon Briggs, Tennis Correspondent
28 March 2019 • 10:00pm

In an era when few players grow into mental and physical maturity until their early 20s, the true tennis prodigy has become an endangered species. So it has been thrilling to see a revival of this rare breed at the Miami Open, where Felix Auger-Aliassime – an 18-year-old qualifier from Quebec – will on Friday become the youngest man to play in a semi-final.

Auger-Aliassime (pronounced Ow-jer Al-ee-a-Seem) is part of a batch of Canadian youngsters who have raised the maple-leaf flag above Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. His good mate Denis Shapovalov, 19, plays Frances Tiafoe in Thursday night's quarter-final. In the women’s game, 18-year-old Bianca Andreescu beat reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber on her way to the fourth round.

But neither can match the extraordinary statistic that Auger-Aliassime posted in Wednesday night’s quarter-final, when he duffed up 11th seed Borna Coric in almost casual fashion. That was his fifth match against top-20 opposition, and his fifth victory: a perfect record that no emerging male player in history has matched.

How does he do it? Standing 6ft 4in already, Auger-Aliassime has a 125mph serve and a double-handed backhand with echoes of Novak Djokovic. But his trump card is his quick-footed agility. Hardcore tennis fans already refer to him simply as Felix, to sidestep that tricky surname, and older ones might recall the black-and-white animation character Felix the Cat.

Auger-Aliassime shares this rare combination of youth and athleticism with his sporting idol, 20-year-old Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe. “It would be fun to meet him one day,” he told the Telegraph this week. “What he has done at such a young age [is amazing].


“In football, I can be pretty handy. I think it's my second best sport. I was a left winger. I can run pretty fast. Either I make it into the centre or I cut and shoot. I have done tests on my speed, but I don’t have the records. But I think he [Mbappe] would be a bit faster than me.”

The son of a Togolese father and a Canadian mother, Auger-Aliassime has been breaking age-related records since 2015, when he became the youngest player ever to hold an ATP ranking. Like Boris Becker and Rafael Nadal – who both won their first majors as teenagers – he grew into his body at a stage when his contemporaries still looked like children.

During the most recent off-season, he also overcome the one flaw in his remarkable physique: the defective heart tissue that left him prone to occasional bouts of tachycardia, or palpitations.“I think it is behind me, because I got an intervention at the end of last year,” said Auger-Aliassime, who was forced to retire in tears from what – until Friday night – was the highest-profile match of his career.

“It only happened twice when I was competing,” he added – first at a 2015 Challenger in Guadeloupe, and then during his maiden grand-slam match on Arthur Ashe Stadium last year. Shapovalov happened to be on the other side of the net, and promised his devastated friend that they would contest the final there one day.

“It was tough to swallow,” recalled Auger-Aliassime of the moment when his heart started racing out of control. “I had always dreamt of playing the grand slams and my whole family was there. Losing would have been okay, but being unable to finish the match was the worst feeling of my life. I just couldn’t believe it. But the cardio thing I have dealt with since I was eight, so I wasn’t scared for my health or anything.

“It took a lot of years [to fix], because they couldn’t find where it was coming from, the palpitations. But at the end of last year, I went on the table again, and they were able to find it – it was really easy. 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.”

The rest of the locker-room should be warned. Now that he has sorted out that inconvenient physical glitch, Felix Auger-Aliassime seems destined to one day join Roger, Rafa and Serena as a tennis player recognised globally by his first name.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2019/03/28/tennis-prodigy-felix-auger-aliassime-rapidly-making-first-name/
 
Would love to see him do well at Madrid, Rome and FO. He now has direct entry to all tourneys yeay.

Would be interesting if he face another runner as he lost to Djere and Nishioka recently.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
It’s a great sign that he is working on those weaknesses, but hopefully he’ll get some good rest too. This run probabaly took a lot out of him.
One week off and then he begins clay again at Marrakech. He should be seeded with his Miami points pushing him into top 5 in the current draw.
 

oldmanfan

Hall of Fame
His heart issues seem to be fixed according to Felix.
Yay! Good news!

[ "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." ]

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2019/03/18-year-old-auger-aliassime-says-offseason-surgery-fixed-heart-problem/80648/
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
It’s a great sign that he is working on those weaknesses, but hopefully he’ll get some good rest too. This run probabaly took a lot out of him.
You can never be too tired to go out there and work on the ball toss. Even if you can't get the legs under you and get all the velocity on it, working on the ball toss can always be done, and that's what let Felix down. You can kneel and work on the ball toss.
 
You can never be too tired to go out there and work on the ball toss. Even if you can't get the legs under you and get all the velocity on it, working on the ball toss can always be done, and that's what let Felix down. You can kneel and work on the ball toss.
He went with a bag of balls. Hopefully he didn't expect his toss to be so bad that he would need this many balls...
 

vernonbc

Legend
One week off and then he begins clay again at Marrakech. He should be seeded with his Miami points pushing him into top 5 in the current draw.
He's skipping Marrakech (thank goodness) and said his next tournament will be Monte Carlo. I posted an interview where he mentioned this but I don't know where. Maybe in General? :oops:

I also read somewhere that he still doesn't get direct entry into MC or Madrid. The first tournament that his shiny new ranking will work for him is in Rome. Hopefully they'll give him WCs.
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
He's skipping Marrakech (thank goodness) and said his next tournament will be Monte Carlo. I posted an interview where he mentioned this but I don't know where. Maybe in General? :oops:

I also read somewhere that he still doesn't get direct entry into MC or Madrid. The first tournament that his shiny new ranking will work for him is in Rome. Hopefully they'll give him WCs.
Would be insane not to give him WCs, but stranger things have happened.
 
He's skipping Marrakech (thank goodness) and said his next tournament will be Monte Carlo. I posted an interview where he mentioned this but I don't know where. Maybe in General? :oops:

I also read somewhere that he still doesn't get direct entry into MC or Madrid. The first tournament that his shiny new ranking will work for him is in Rome. Hopefully they'll give him WCs.
He is not listed on the Madrid website as one of the 45 players competing, so that indicates no direct entry..
Rankings from 6 weeks prior to a tournament matter. Félix's new ranking (33), which will be official tomorrow, will thus be taken into account for tournaments from May 13, which happens to be the week of Rome. Any prior tournament will take his previous ranking in consideration and low 50s aren't quite enough to make the cuts in Masters 1000. On the other hand, he made the cut for Barcelona, at least.

I applaud Félix from having often refrained from accepting wildcards, but since he can play well on clay and has now established himself as a serious contender, it would be nice if he could put all his energy and focus on main draws instead of qualifications. Félix got a wildcard in Monte Carlo last year, so I would be surprised if he didn't also get one this year since it's not like Monaco has a lot of players at this level, not to mention that Félix has now officially established his hometown as Monaco. Spain is another story. There are a lot of Spanish players throughout the rankings, so I could understand them favoring their own players. It definitely would be a very nice gesture if they awarded one to Félix.
 

Beacon Hill

Hall of Fame
Rankings from 6 weeks prior to a tournament matter. Félix's new ranking (33), which will be official tomorrow, will thus be taken into account for tournaments from May 13, which happens to be the week of Rome. Any prior tournament will take his previous ranking in consideration and low 50s aren't quite enough to make the cuts in Masters 1000. On the other hand, he made the cut for Barcelona, at least.

I applaud Félix from having often refrained from accepting wildcards, but since he can play well on clay and has now established himself as a serious contender, it would be nice if he could put all his energy and focus on main draws instead of qualifications. Félix got a wildcard in Monte Carlo last year, so I would be surprised if he didn't also get one this year since it's not like Monaco has a lot of players at this level, not to mention that Félix has now officially established his hometown as Monaco. Spain is another story. There are a lot of Spanish players throughout the rankings, so I could understand them favoring their own players. It definitely would be a very nice gesture if they awarded one to Félix.
Did Felix refrain from accepting wild cards?
I agree he's almost assured a WC for Monte Carlo.
 
Did Felix refrain from accepting wild cards?
I agree he's almost assured a WC for Monte Carlo.
He has. In this article (in French), it is said that last year, Miami was willing to offer him a wildcard after his three wins in Indian Wells, including the one in the main draw against Vasek Pospisil, but his team declined.

After winning the US Open junior title, apparently he was also invited in big tournaments, but Tennis Canada declined, anticipating he would get demolished and that it wouldn't be good for his confidence. I also remember the winter of 2017, I think it was in Indian Wells? Several young players had had WCs for qualifications, but Félix wasn't there. I had wondered, but I'm still not sure about this one.

Aliassime would have taken a WC to Miami but he said that "that's not something in my control"
That's also what I understood, but last year, the decision was his.
 

Beacon Hill

Hall of Fame
He has. In this article (in French), it is said that last year, Miami was willing to offer him a wildcard after his three wins in Indian Wells, including the one in the main draw against Vasek Pospisil, but his team declined.

After winning the US Open junior title, apparently he was also invited in big tournaments, but Tennis Canada declined, anticipating he would get demolished and that it wouldn't be good for his confidence. I also remember the winter of 2017, I think it was in Indian Wells? Several young players had had WCs for qualifications, but Félix wasn't there. I had wondered, but I'm still not sure about this one.


That's also what I understood, but last year, the decision was his.
Interesting. I wonder if the article is correct, because Felix has accepted other WCs. Last year in Miami he was trying to rise up the rankings, and you'd think a WC would have been welcomed.
 
Interesting. I wonder if the article is correct, because Felix has accepted other WCs. Last year in Miami he was trying to rise up the rankings, and you'd think a WC would have been welcomed.
This is from the French CBC, Radio-Canada. It doesn't get more reliable than that.

Besides, there are quotes about last year's Miami tournament from both Félix and James Blake:

"Declining the wildcard last year was the right decision because we felt it was the best option for my development." - Félix
"Félix is well surrounded and takes the right decisions, assesses former fourth player in the world James Blake, also Miami tournament director. Rare are the young players who would have taken the same decision than him. He doesn't want to skip steps and that's all to his credit." - James Blake
 
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EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
He has. In this article (in French), it is said that last year, Miami was willing to offer him a wildcard after his three wins in Indian Wells, including the one in the main draw against Vasek Pospisil, but his team declined.

After winning the US Open junior title, apparently he was also invited in big tournaments, but Tennis Canada declined, anticipating he would get demolished and that it wouldn't be good for his confidence. I also remember the winter of 2017, I think it was in Indian Wells? Several young players had had WCs for qualifications, but Félix wasn't there. I had wondered, but I'm still not sure about this one.


That's also what I understood, but last year, the decision was his.
Interesting. I wonder if the article is correct, because Felix has accepted other WCs. Last year in Miami he was trying to rise up the rankings, and you'd think a WC would have been welcomed.
Last year his team decided to forgo the main tour and spend a lot of time on European clay challengers. Skipped Wimbledon too. Was a smart strategy in retrospect.
 

Gut Check

Semi-Pro
"Declining the wildcard last year was the right decision because we felt it was the best option for my development." - Félix
"Félix is well surrounded and takes the right decisions, assesses former fourth player in the world James Black, also Miami tournament director. Rare are the young players who would have taken the same decision than him. He doesn't want to skip steps and that's all to his credit." - James Blake
Is this your typo, or the original article's typo referring to James Blake as James Black?
 
looks like he missed the #32 slot by 1 point
There will be only 16 seeds in the next Masters 1000. The #32 slot will only matter again when Roland-Garros comes, and Félix has almost nothing to defend until then, unlike, I presume, the players above him. It really doesn't matter at all right now, he has not yet missed anything. :)
 

Beacon Hill

Hall of Fame
My guess is Monte Carlo has one set aside, but will wait to see if he moves up the alternate list to see if it is necessary.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
The schedule was most probably changed after the IW/Miami success, knowing the points earned will get him a softer landing in M-C qualies as a seed if he doesn’t get in MD via withdrawals or WC. A site I found listed Félix as 4th alternate as of 3/19. Three DE players (Gasquet, PCB and Monfils) have been mending on the sidelines so he could be moving very close to getting in without WC or qualies.
 
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