What connects Novak Djokovic and Felix Auger-Aliassime?

Felix Auger-Aliassime had a great run at Challengers before turning 18

by Jovica Ilic
What connects Novak Djokovic and Felix Auger-Aliassime?
© Lyon Challenger - Facebook

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Novak Djokovic share a notable record at Challengers, with both players winning three titles before their 18th birthday! Auger-Aliassime made a name for himself at two Challengers in 2015. Felix qualified for the main draw at 14 and reached his first quarter-final a couple of months later, showing his rich talent and becoming the first player born in 2000 with ATP points.

The young Canadian secured four titles in 2017 and 2018, earning notable records and enough points to crack the top-100 at the beginning of 2019. Auger-Aliassime is the youngest player who defended the Challenger title, achieving that in Lyon 2018.

Also, the Canadian stands among four players with three Challenger titles before turning 18, joining Richard Gasquet, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro on the exclusive list! Felix secured his first Futures title in 2016, with a breakthrough season coming in 2017.

Felix Auger-Aliassime claimed three Challenger titles before turning 18.

The young gun secured the Lyon Challenger title. Thus, he became the eighth-youngest Challenger champion (16 years and ten months) since the start of the series in 1978 and the youngest since Bernard Tomic in 2009.

Not stopping there, the super-talented teenager conquered another clay-court Challenger in Seville, wrapping up the season in the top-170 and wishing for more in 2018. The Canadian experienced an injury in December 2017, missing the start of the new season and kicking off the action in February.

Auger-Aliassime won a match in Indian Wells as a qualifier, but the results were not there in the upcoming two months, including the Roland Garros qualification failure. Felix entered the Lyon Challenger as the defending champion, hoping for a good result and a confidence boost.

The Canadian ousted three French players in straight sets and toppled another young gun Miomir Kecmanovic to enter the title clash. Johan Tatlot stood between Auger-Aliassime and the title defense, and the Canadian had to work hard to prevail!

Tatlot led 7-6, 5-3 before Auger-Aliassime produced a comeback and scored a 6-7, 7-5, 6-2 triumph, rattling off ten of the final 12 games. At 17 years and ten months, Felix became the youngest defending champion at the Challenger level.

Also, he celebrated his third Challenger crown before turning 18, a rare feat reserved only for the special group of young guns.

Novak Djokovic Felix Auger-aliassime