10 things you need to know about tennis prodigy Felix Auger-Aliassime

Félix Auger-Aliassime tennis
Felix Auger-Aliassime

With the big men taking a well-earned rest, the tennis world has been captivated this past week by the exploits of Felix Auger-Aliassime. The 14-year-old is already being spoken of as a phenomenal talent, in the same class as Frances Tiafoe. He has been all over the news this week, thanks to his exploits at the Granby Challenger in Quebec.

Here is a low down on everything you need to know about this sensational teenager:

  1. Auger-Aliassime is the youngest player with an ATP Ranking. He became the first post millenial child (one born in the 2000s) to gain a ranking, when he won three qualifying matches this March to qualify for the Drummondville Challenger in Quebec.
  2. He will not be 15 till 8th August and that date should ring a bell; Iterestingly, the young Canadian talent shares a birthday with the legendary Roger Federer. It is a trivia that is titilating an excited bunch of followers around the tennis world and social media.
  3. Felix could not show off his bag of tricks in Drummondville. He was prevented from taking his appointed place in the main draw of the challenger event. There was no such strife this time around – the young player strode confidently into the quarterfinals, beating men ten years his senior, before succumbing to Yoshihito Nishioka in three hard fought sets.
  4. Before that loss in the quarterfinals, the young Canadian had amassed an impressive 7-0 professional record. In the lead up to the quarters in Granby, Felix fought back from a break down in the second set to oust Darian King 7-5, 6-3. His opponent King is a 23-year-old from Barbados, underlining the possibilities for this impressive teenager.
  5. He was nearly as impressive in another pulsating contest in the quarters – he worked his way back from 1-4 in the first set to Nishioka, winning five straight games to take the first set. But the 19-year-old Japanese, ranked 140th in the world proved too hot to handle from there, as he raced through 6-2, 6-1 in the final two sets.
  6. Auger-Aliassime speaks English and French. He plays tennis right-handed, and entered the week ranked 1237 in the world. It is very likely that he cracks the top 1000 when the new rankings are annouced on Monday.
  7. The teenager was coached by his father Sam, before the kid joined a program run by Tennis Canada. He is said to have been playing tennis since he was four years old. His elder sister Malika is also a junior tennis player.
  8. Felix was a part-timer at the National Tennis Centre for two years, before he took to it full time ten months ago. And his rise up the ladder has been nothing short of spectacular. He has climbed over 500 spots on the junior ranking list and his current ranking of 69 will give him access to the qualifiers for junior grand slam tournaments.
  9. The 14-year-old boy has also grown five inches taller in the last year to stand 6’3” tall already, at such a tender age.
  10. The National Bank Challenger, this week, could be a harbinger of great things for this young Canadian. But then there are several young men who burn their potential in the destructive ambers that underlie professional tennis. Tennis Canada will rely on the wisdom of junior coach Jocelyn Robichaud to manage the melee around the teenager and keep the focus firmly on tennis.