Felix Auger-Aliassime earns a place on special ranking list



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Felix Auger-Aliassime earns a place on special ranking list

The Montreal native Felix Auger-Aliassime was destined for tennis glory ever since he qualified for the Drummondville Challenger in March 2015, still at the age of 14! A few months later, super talented youngster advanced into the quarter-final in Granby still before turning 15 and the rest is pretty much history, achieving one big result after another and improving his game all the time to mix successful junior career (the youngest US Open champion) with first pro steps.

In 2017, Felix became the seventh youngest Challenger champion in Lyon, adding another crown later that season and passing the 40-win mark at Challengers before turning 18 for another clear sign of his class and abilities!

Felix notched the first ATP win last year at Indian Wells and needed just a year to become the third-youngest Masters 1000 semi-finalist in Miami this March, qualifying for the main draw and winning five matches before John Isner halted him in two tie breaks.

Starting the season from just outside the top-100, Felix reached the final in Rio de Janeiro as the first player born in 2000 in the ATP title match, securing more triumphs in Sao Paulo and Indian Wells before that memorable Miami run that could have lasted for more, having a break advantage in both sets against the American.

That Rio de Janeiro result propelled Felix into the top-60 and was hungry for more, cracking the top-30 at the end of April (the youngest player in that group since Lleyton Hewitt and Rafael Nadal), advancing into back-to-back finals in Lyon and Stuttgart on different surfaces to add more points to his tally and become a real contender for the spot in the top-20 before turning 19.

That didn't happen despite being a win away from the mentioned group a couple of times, getting there this Monday following the results of other players, unable to earn points last week after an early loss in Cincinnati.

Celebrating the 19th birthday ten days ago, Felix is the 19th youngest top-20 player since the beginning of the ranking in 1973 and also the fifth-youngest since 2000 after Rafael Nadal, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and Richard Gasquet, the first to join the list since 2005!

To make the achievement even more precious, Auger-Aliassime is the eighth-youngest competitor in the top-20 since 1990, with Andrei Medvedev, Pete Sampras and Goran Ivanisevic who did that before Hewitt in 2000. Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe did that in the 70s, followed by Mats Wilander, Jimmy Arias, Aaron Krickstein (the only who managed to crack the top-20 before the 17th birthday), Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Andre Agassi, Michael Chang and some other names, forging the special list that will hardly see someone younger than Felix in the years to come.