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Five Things To Know About Felix Auger-Aliassime

  • Posted: Apr 25, 2020

Five Things To Know About Felix Auger-Aliassime

Learn more about the #NextGenATP Canadian

Felix Auger-Aliassime began 2019 outside of the world’s Top 100, but the Canadian has quickly established himself among the ATP Tour’s best, currently sitting at No. 20 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

Here are five things to know about the #NextGenATP star.

1) He’s No Stranger To The Record Books
Auger-Aliassime has put his name in the record books several times since the start of 2019. Entering last year’s Rio Open presented by Claro, the Canadian was World No. 104, and he has been on the rise since. 

In Rio de Janeiro, Auger-Aliassime advanced to his first tour-level semi-final and final, becoming the youngest player to make an ATP 500 championship match in series history (since 2009). 

One of the teen’s most memorable runs came at the Miami Open presented by Itau, where he became the youngest semi-finalist in the tournament’s history. He also became the third-youngest ATP Masters 1000 sem-finalist, older than only close friend Denis Shapovalov (2017 Montreal) and Michael Chang (1990 Toronto).

As an 18-year-old, on 27 May 2019, Auger-Aliassime became the youngest player ranked in the world’s Top 25 since Lleyton Hewitt in 1999.

Auger-Aliassime, who reached a career-high FedEx ATP Ranking of No. 19 last August, has made five ATP Tour finals (0-5). Last year, he became the youngest three-time ATP Tour finalist since Rafael Nadal accomplished the feat from the ages of 17-18.

2) He Shares A Birthday With Roger Federer
Auger-Aliassime was born on 8 August 2000, exactly 19 years after Roger Federer.

When the Canadian was born, Federer was already rising on the ATP Tour, sitting at No. 39 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. When Felix turned 19 last year, he was World No. 21.

Auger-Aliassime trained with Federer in Dubai during the 2017 off-season, and both men made the Miami semi-finals last year. Although they haven’t played one another in an official match yet, Federer had nothing but nice things to say about the teen.

“He was a joy to work with,” Federer told ESPN. “He was ranked like 200, and I knew he was on the rise, but maybe not this quickly.

3) Felix Has Picked Up Scrabble During Quarantine
Auger-Aliassime has been with his family in Montreal during the suspension of play due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadian wrote a blog to update his fans and encourage them during these tough times.

Auger-Aliassime revealed that he has taken up Scrabble while staying home with his family.

My sister beat me by one point the last time we played and that was pretty frustrating! Even though I’m not on court, I need to find a way to be competitive in some part of my life,” Auger-Aliassime wrote. “I beat my mom by a few points the other day, so the games have been pretty tight. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Tennis At Home | How ATP Players Make The Most Of Stay At Home

4) His Rapid Improvement Should Be ‘Scary For A Lot Of People’
Former World No. 1 Andy Roddick likes what he sees in Auger-Aliassime’s game.

Last year, Roddick told ATPTour.com that Felix looks like, “the next best prospect”.

Something I look for is easy power. I think most guys on Tour, if they set up and want to hit a ball hard, they can. The really, really great ones — you think of Roger, I think of a guy like Tomas Berdych — it doesn’t look like he’s swinging out of his shoes, but the ball kind of launches off of his racquet. And maybe you can’t see the ball on TV, but you can feel it playing against him,” Roddick said. “Felix seems to have that easy power. When he’s going after a ball, it doesn’t look out of sorts. It looks like the technique is pretty much the same.”

More On Felix:
Roddick Explains Why Felix Is ‘Next Best Prospect’
Where Were Federer, Nadal, Djokovic & Murray At Nadal’s Age?
Felix Taking Flight: The Rapid Ascent Of Auger-Aliassime
Felix On Nadal Compliment: ‘It’s Just Amazing’

Roddick, a five-time ATP Masters 1000 champion, added that not only has Auger-Aliassime rapidly improved, but he has a similarity with some legends.

“He moves well already. If you look at the guys that win early, you’re looking at a Hewitt or a Roger or a Rafa, all those guys moved well from a young age,” Roddick said. “That’s certainly not a recessing asset. You get to 21, 22, 23 years old [and it only gets better].”

5) Felix Is Quickly Showing An Interest In Charity
In February, Auger-Aliassime announced that he would donate $5 for every point he wins this season to EduChange, partnering with CARE to support the protection and education of children in Togo.

Auger-Aliassime’s father, Sam Aliassime, is originally from Togo.

“I feel very lucky to have had a hugely satisfying career so far, but I think it’s time to bring more meaning to it beyond tennis,” Auger-Aliassime said. “This year, all my winning points count.”

BNP Paribas will donate $15 for every point Auger-Aliassime wins. It is still unclear when the ATP Tour will resume due to the ongoing pandemic, but Auger-Aliassime will have plenty of motivation when the action begins again, as he tries to raise money for children.

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With Mismatched Socks, Andrej Martin Raises Awareness For Down Syndrome

  • Posted: Apr 25, 2020

With Mismatched Socks, Andrej Martin Raises Awareness For Down Syndrome

Slovak’s fashion-forward footwear sparks conversation on Tour

After 13 years on the ATP Tour, Andrej Martin reached a career-high FedEx ATP Ranking of No. 93 in February and was playing the best tennis of his career. But the 30-year-old Slovak’s late success was motivated by more than his desire to compete in the world’s biggest events.

Two years ago, Martin pondered his motivations for playing tennis and discovered that he wanted to play for something bigger than himself. He began to research different charity organisations, reached out to several with an offer to help and began collaborating with a few of them. When a clothing company made him aware of World Down Syndrome Day (21 March) and how people wore brightly coloured, mismatched socks to support the cause, he latched onto the concept.

“I fell in love with this great cause and was thinking of ways to promote it. It’s a small effort from me to start wearing two different socks, but could potentially create a huge positive impact and bring well-deserved attention to Down Syndrome,” Martin said to ATPTour.com. “I realised that because tennis provides publicity and therefore possibly impacts society, I can be very useful to others and provide help where I believe it’s needed.”

Martin Two Socks Cordoba

When media outlets and fellow players picked up on his new footwear and asked him about it, Martin realised he had hit on an important conversation starter. He decided to continue wearing two different socks in most of his matches in order to continue bringing attention to Down Syndrome.

“I generally don’t like to celebrate specific days symbolising things because I don’t believe that certain things only deserve our attention one day of the year. People with Down Syndrome deserve our attention every day of the year.” Martin said. “I keep getting questions about my socks from people in tennis, so that proves it’s being noticed and makes sense to keep wearing them to promote this great cause. If I can keep reminding people about it, I’ll happily do it.”

 

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Je krásne byť odlišný. 21.3. je deň Downovho syndrómu a symbol na podporu tejto veci je nosiť 2 rozdielne ponožky. Práve toto je dôvod prečo som začal nosiť 2 rozdielne ponožky aj na mojich tenisových zápasoch. Lebo krásni ľudia s downovým syndrómom nie su s nami iba v tento deň a je dobré si to pamätať! #ponozkovavyzva Being different is beautiful. 21.3. is an international day of Down syndrome and a symbol to support it is to wear 2 different socks. This is the reason why I started to usually wear 2 different socks also during my tennis matches. Because these beautiful people with Down syndrome are not with us only on this day and is important not to forget!

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Martin’s unique method of activism is another example of how he has remained a true individual on Tour. The Slovakian chooses not to travel with a coach and credited the decision with leading to his recent success.

“I’ve been collecting experiences from people around me throughout my life and was following advice from my tennis coaches. Now I’m 30, so I felt like it’s time to find ways to be responsible for myself,” Martin said. “I really enjoy relying only on me and focussing on fully discovering my limits, strengths and weaknesses. I like to experiment, even if it goes against conventional ways, and lead by example with my actions and behaviour.”

Martin is currently back in Slovakia and eager to resume competing, but has made the most of his time at home. Not only he has indulged his passion for adventure, but he’s also revised his training methods in a way that he believes will serve him well when action resumes on Tour.

“This time is very interesting because it gives me opportunity to change my old tennis routines. I focus on technical and tactical preparation during my training and there’s usually very little time for that during the tennis season,” Martin said. “But I also have time to spend doing other activities besides tennis. I’ve always dreamed of spending time in the mountains and doing adrenaline sports, so now I’m lucky enough to have a place to stay most of the time in the High Tatras and fulfill my dream.”

 

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Tennis season stopped 🎾🚫,ski touring season started 🎿🏔️✔️😍 #lovenature #mountainsarecalling #staysafe #beresponsible #liveyourlife

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