Canada's newest tennis star Felix Auger-Aliassime lands in Vogue
Felix Auger-Aliassime will open his first Rogers Cup in his hometown when he faces fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil in a Wimbledon rematch. (File/AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Montreal’s Félix Auger-Aliassime, the newly-minted top-ranked Canadian tennis player, is now gracing the online pages of Vogue.
Barely old enough to have a drink, he’s currently ranked 19th in the world, according to the latest Association of Tennis Professionals Tour rankings which were released on Monday.
Auger-Aliassime jumped past Milos Raonic of Thornhill Ont., who moved down two spots to 22nd in the world rankings.
In other words, the 19-year-old could soon be giving the current kings of the court Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic a run for their money. And now, his story is being featured in the iconic fashion and lifestyle magazine.
The short Vogue profile “Félix Auger-Aliassime Is Taking Tennis by Storm” explains that he and his sister Malika picked up the sport from their father and tennis teacher, Sam.
“He just transmitted his passion to us. I don’t really have a memory of not playing,” Auger-Aliassime told the magazine.
He started playing when he was just four years old. And when he was very young he recalled telling his dad from Togo: “I want to be a professional tennis player.”
“What I like most about the game is its competitive side. It’s a duel—like chess or like gladiators. It’s two players confronting each other and finding solutions, and I really like that,” Auger-Aliassime added.
He grinded his way through the circuits in Quebec City and Montreal and competed in several international tennis tournaments, before he was noticed by Federer — his hero and 20-time Grand Slam champion.
The Swiss tennis legend invited Auger-Aliassime to a training camp in Dubai in 2017 where the teen was understandably star struck.
“As a kid, you see Federer with such distance, he’s almost like a divinity,” Auger-Aliassime told Vogue. “But for me to talk to him and play with him—it reduced this distance a little bit.”
Although topping his hero -- like fellow Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu recently beat legend Serena Williams -- could be a whiles away, Auger-Aliassime has been quickly making a name for himself.
Most recently, he played in Wimbledon as the 19th seed and earned his first victory as a pro in the Slams before he was stopped by French player Ugo Humbert in the third round of the warmup event.
Before that, without breaking a sweat, he beat out widely-praised up-in-comers Stefanos Tsitsipas, Grigor Dimitrov, and Nick Kyrgios at the Queen’s Club Championships in June.
But for now, Auger-Aliassime is just focusing on improving before heading into the upcoming U.S. Open.
“Obviously the winning part is great, but that’s not everything,” he says. “The best thing for me is the sound of a ball that has been hit well.
With files from The Canadian Press