Felix Auger-Aliassime writes history, as the 7th youngest Challenger winner


by   |  VIEW 6265
Felix Auger-Aliassime writes history, as the 7th youngest Challenger winner

Felix Auger-Aliassime, super talented Canadian, was destined to make some big things on the Challenger circuit, qualifying for his first main draw appearance at the age of 14 in Drummondville, 2015! 4 months later, he reached the quarter-final in Granby, and in 2016 he was even more successful.

After winning the US Open junior crown, as the youngest champion ever, Felix conquered his first Pro title, taking the USA F35 Futures in Birmingham, as the 7th youngest winner at this level. Despite being only 16, Felix decided to focus on the Pro Tour in 2017, finishing his junior career, and that was the right move, as his constant improvements made his ready to compete against the players ranked inside the Top 300.

Last week in Lyon, Auger-Aliassime wrote another bright chapter of his young career, lifting the trophy in Lyon Challenger, as the 7th youngest winner at the age of 16 years and 10 months. Challenger Tour was formed in 1978 and Felix is only the 7th player who managed to go all the way before turning 17, after Michael Chang, Richard Gasquet, Bernard Tomic, Kent Carlsson, Marcos Ondruska, and Rafael Nadal, leaving Novak Djokovic behind him on the eternal list.

Felix is the youngest Challenger champion since Bernard Tomic in 2009 and with these 90 points, he entered Top 250 on the ATP rankings list, as only the 4th 16-year-old who did that since 2000, after Richard Gasquet, Rafael Nadal, and Juan Martin del Potro! This was only the 10th Challenger for Felix so far and he played it like a much more experienced player, overcoming 3-setter in his opening 3 matches, to show his full power in the semis and final, where he lost just 8 games in total in 4 sets! In the title match, young Canadian dismantled two-time Challenger winner Mathias Bourgue by 6-4 6-1 in just 79 minutes, losing serve only once and scoring 4 breaks to stay in front from the end of the first set (he won 50% of the return points).

Bourgue was the first to make a threat on return, having a break point in the third game, Felix saved it with a good attack but he eventually lost his serve, as Mathias converted his second chance. The good news for Canadian was that this will be his only loose service game until the end of the match.

Felix broke back in game 6, leveling the score at 3-3, and he broke at 15 in game 10 to grab the opener by 6-4, saving his best returns for this final game. Felix continued where he left in the first set, breaking again at the start of the second, holding everything in his hands now.

A love service game sent him 3-0 up, before another great return game that put him 4 games clear of his rival. Youngster closed the match with an amazing backhand cross court passing winner, celebrating his biggest success in a career so far, and there is no doubt we will see a lot more of him in the years to come, in the biggest tennis arenas over the world. Youngest Challenger champions:

↓ SHOW RANK ↓

 

ALSO READ: ATP Halle: Thiem, Gasquet, Kohlschreiber and Brown reach R2