Felix Auger-Aliassime is one of tennis’ hot commodities these days, but you would never know it when speaking with him.
“It’s important for me to be humble, stay simple, and keep working.” That’s one mature outlook for someone who just turned 15 last month.
Auger-Aliassime, who began training at Tennis Canada’s full-time National Training Centre in Montreal last September, has been thrust into the tennis spotlight this season and for good reason.
He is the top-ranked 15-year-old on the world junior rankings at No. 23 and is first player born in the 2000s to hold an ATP World Tour ranking. In March, Auger-Aliassime became the first 14-year-old in history to qualify for an ATP Challenger event in Rimouski and this summer he reached the quarter-finals of the $100,000 Granby National Bank Challenger.
Auger-Aliassime played his first junior Grand Slam at the U.S. Open where he was in the limelight once again with some of tennis’ who’s who coming out to watch his matches to see what the fuss was all about.
“The site, the organization, everything is big about the U.S. Open,” Auger-Aliassime said about his Major debut in New York. “There are a lot of fans and attention, but you’re still playing the same players you see every week.”
In his Grand Slam debut, Auger-Aliassime took home the boys doubles title alongside his compatriot Denis Shapovalov. They are the first Canadian duo since 1990 to win a junior Grand Slam crown.
With Auger-Aliassime sharing the same facilities as the best players in the world, did he cross paths with his idols?
“No, not really. The two tournaments are on the same site, but the juniors do their thing. We would seem them sometimes in the players restaurant, but I didn’t talk to anyone. They are there to work and so are we.”