October 16, 2021

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Flashback: Auger-Aliassime and Humbert out in the wilds of Corona Park

They’re top 30 and top 20 and going deep into draws now.

But less than three years ago, Félix Auger-Aliassime and Ugo Humbert were freshly-minted qualifiers at the 2018 US Open.

The practice-court court assignment wasn’t the best – deep into the “P” courts, about as far as you can get from Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Here’s what they looked like as they went at it, preparing for their first-round amtches.

Auger-Aliassime had just turned 18 and ranked No. 117; he beat Tallon Griekspoor, Christopher Eubanks and Gerard Melzer to make the main draw.

(That was the year that he met Denis Shapovalov in the first round, and had to retire because of the heart issue he was dealing with at the time, since resolved).

Humbert, who had just turned 20, was ranked No. 139.

He defeated Pedja Krstin in a third-set tiebreak, then American teenager Brandon Nakashima, then Marc Polmans in the final around.

In the first round of the main draw, he got a break in American wild card Collin Altamirano. And then he went four sets with Stan Wawrinka before bowing out.

Both should be seeded at Wimbledon in just over a week.