WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a week, one of those watershed “firsts” in Félix Auger-Aliassime’s young career will occur.
The 18-year-old will celebrate his 19th at the Rogers Cup, which not only is a Masters 1000 event, but is held in his hometown of Montreal.
To prepare for that tournament by getting some match play on the hard courts, and to keep things on the down low before all the attention he’ll get at home, Auger-Aliassime is at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. this week.
That’s not the only reason, of course. The Citi Open is an ATP 500 event, which offers plenty of ranking points (and prize money).
The young Canadian spent about 10 days in Montreal training after taking a post-Wimbledon break.
On Saturday, he had a practice in the heat of the day, then took to the stadium court at 8 p.m. for a practice that was still going strong when your Tennis.Life chronicler left just after 9:30 p.m.
Peas in a pod
Auger-Aliassime hit with Frances Tiafoe, who is experiencing the same type of thing this week in D.C. Tiafoe is a local. But the advantage he has is that this isn’t his first Citi Open rodeo.
And, of course, there’s Coco Mania, which is sucking up all the early air before the big event begins.
Here they are on court. Auger-Aliassime’s fellow Montrealer Genie Bouchard had the 7-8 p.m. slot just before them, so the two city-twins did run into each other.