Felix Auger-Aliassime earns the special place in Challenger history


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Felix Auger-Aliassime earns the special place in Challenger history

Montreal native Felix Auger-Aliassime is about to turn 18 in August but he has already found his place in the record books of the Challenger Tour, writing the first pages back in 2015 and continuing to add some big stuff ever since.

A former junior US Open champion and one of the most brilliant upcoming stars had made his professional debut at the age of 14 at Drummondville Challenger, receiving a qualifying wild card to gain some experience against much older rivals. Felix had some other goals, though, winning three matches to become the youngest player ever who has qualified for the Challenger main draw, having to retire before the first round match due to an abdominal strain.

With these five points Auger-Aliassime entered the ATP rankings list as the first player born in 2000 or later who achieved that. Four months later Felix qualified for another Challenger main draw in Granby and this time he was ready to show his class, becoming the youngest player who won a Challenger match and reached the quarter-final.

Felix won his first Futures title in 2016 and 2017 was his breakthrough year after winning a Challenger title in Lyon as the eight youngest player since 1978 who did so at the age of 16 years and 10 months and the youngest overall since Bernard Tomic in 2009.

This was only the beginning for the super talented Canadian and he won another Challenger in Seville, again on clay, to finish the season inside the Top 170 and set his eyes on an even bigger success in 2018. Back in December, Felix suffered an injury that delayed his start of the season, making a return in February and finding his form in the next couple of months before heading to Lyon to defend his title.

Finally, Felix found his zone and despite a tough final against Johan Tatlot (he was 7-6 5-3 down) he managed to defend the title and enter the history books again, as the youngest player who has managed to defend Challenger trophy at the age of 17 years and 10 months.

In addition, Auger-Aliassime is only the fourth player who won three Challenger titles before turning 18, after Richard Gasquet, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro, entering a small and exclusive club of players and looking pumped and motivated to carry this form to a higher level into the next couple of months, already winning his first Masters 1000 match at Indian Wells. ALSO READ: Roger Federer hits the ultimate ranking milestone, becoming the oldest..