Felix Auger-Aliassime is only 19, but he is mature beyond his years. The #NextGenATP Canadian lives his life by three guiding principles: respect, humility and hard work.
“People will get to know me over the years and will probably know that I want to leave a good example for the generation after. I want to inspire kids to get interested in the sport, but further than that just being a good citizen,” Auger-Aliassime told ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot. “If you have that in you, if you put that in place every day, probably good things will happen.”
The teen has thought this way from a young age, when he’d spend his days around the local tennis club where his father coached. Auger-Aliassime doesn’t remember a time when he wasn’t on a tennis court.
“Since I’m seven, eight years old, I knew I wanted to be a professional player,” Auger-Aliassime said. “Now, I’m just living my dream.”
Nobody’s journey to reach the ATP Tour is easy. There are always setbacks and moments when you face players who are simply too good at that moment. But Auger-Aliassime has always kept pushing forward.
“I never thought of doing anything else, which is kind of weird to say to other teenagers that I see who are finding themselves not really knowing what they want to do,” Auger-Aliassime said. “There was no guarantee that I would make it, obviously, but at the same time I never doubted myself that that is what I wanted to do. Since the day I decided I wanted to [play tennis] as a career I never looked back.”
Why Helping Kids Is A Priority For Felix
The teen earned his first FedEx ATP Rankings points at 14 by qualifying for an ATP Challenger Tour event in Drummondville. In his next professional event just a few months later in Granby, he qualified and won two matches in the main draw. Immediately, all eyes were on the Canadian.
“I was pretty lucky to get results when I was still young… It’s not the same for every player, but I think for me the expectations were high from myself and from the people around me since I’m very young,” Auger-Aliassime said. “The tough part for me was to be high in the rankings at 16, 17 and then you’re losing sometimes in Challengers and in tournaments that I’d won before and not being able to do things other people my age were doing.”
Auger-Aliassime didn’t get discouraged, though. He remained focused, leading to a rapid climb up the FedEx ATP Rankings. Felix began 2019 outside of the world’s Top 100 and he was into the Top 20 by August. Auger-Aliassime has already reached five ATP Tour finals and he made the semi-finals of last year’s Miami Open presented by Itau, an ATP Masters 1000 event.
Even as Auger-Aliassime transitioned to full-time competition on the ATP Tour, he showed plenty of grit to battle against experienced veterans. If Felix had a tough day on court, he went straight back to work. After losing to John Isner in last year’s Miami semi-finals, he immediately walked onto a practice court.
“I’m the type of player that just leaves his soul on the court. I try to engage myself fully in what I’m doing every time I step on court,” Auger-Aliassime said. “As my parents used to say, anything that you’re doing is worth doing 100 per cent and if you’re not doing it fully, you might as well not do it.”