ONES TO WATCH: Felix Auger-Aliassime – Can the young Canadian break new ground in 2020?
Canadian tennis is extremely exciting at the moment, and in Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov they have two very talented players with lots of potential. Here, we focus on Auger-Aliassime to see how far he has come and what he should be doing in 2020.
It’s amazing to think that Auger-Aliassime is only 19-years-old. He has the presence and stature of someone much older.
It’s fair to say that 2019 was a breakthrough year for him, too. While ranked outside the world’s top 100, he made a surprise run to the final of the Rio Open, beating several clay court specialists like Fabio Fognini and Pablo Cuevas en-route. He lost to Laslo Đere in the final, his first of three last year, but the run was the story.
Auger-Aliassime then had an excellent sunshine double, with his first win over a top ten player at Indian Wells where he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas. In Miami, he went through qualifying to have an amazing run to the semi-final where he lost to the huge-serving American John Isner.
His second final of 2019 was another on clay, this time in Lyon. In the semi-final, he beat the top seed, Nikoloz Basilashvili, before losing to charismatic Frenchman Benoît Paire in the final. The week after, he made another final, this time on the grass in Stuttgart. Matteo Berrettini proved his nemesis that time, though.
This was followed by a semi-final at Queens and a third round appearance at Wimbledon, his best result at a Grand Slam so far. The rest of the year was consistent, with Auger-Aliassime briefly entering the top 20.
2020 has been more of the same so far. His goal will be to win an ATP title this year, with success last year on all three surfaces boding well for the future.
Auger-Aliassime has already shown he means business this season, reaching the final of Rotterdam before losing to the ever-more impressive Gael Monfils. In doing so, he equalled Roger Federer’s achievement of reaching four finals before the age of 20 – and if you are following in Federer’s footprints, you are generally doing okay.
The majors remain the biggest challenge for Felix Auger-Aliassime, though, but If he can go deep in some more Grand Slams this year, he will certainly be expecting to stay in the top 20 for the rest of the season and may even find himself in contention for the ATP Finals.
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