August 14, 2022

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU EVER NEEDED

Bolivia’s Juan Carlos Aguilar first came on Open Court’s radar back in 2016, when he and Felipe Meligeni Alves made the US Open junior doubles final.

They won it – beating hotshot Canadians Félix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Sigouin in the final.

The Canadian interest was that his coach, Ysade Juneau, was a Quebecer.

And so, we arranged an interview with them for RDS.

It turns out, even though he’d only spent a few years living in Montreal, Aguilar’s French was impressive.

Here’s what he sounded like.

He mentioned in the interview that he hoped to get his Canadian citizenship by the end of that year (2016).

It appeared the switchover happened sometime in the middle of 2020.

But now the London-born, Bolivia-raised Aguilar is a Canadian.

It turned out to be a game changer.

A switch of nationalities

Back in the day, it apparently was … difficult for him to train at the national centre in Montreal – even though he was a highly-ranked junior in the same vintage as Auger-Aliassime, Sigouin and Denis Shapovalov.

So, despite his family still being in Montreal, he went back to Bolivia to train. And then he went to TCU to play college tennis. He has played Davis Cup twice for Bolivia – one doubles match, and a dead singles rubber (which he won).

Now, he’s out on the pro tour.

And, as a Canadian, he’s now on the radar.

Last week, Aguilar came through as a wild card in the qualifying at the Winnipeg Challenger and played his first-ever main-draw match at the Challenger level.

And Tennis Canada gave him a wild card into the qualifying at this week’s Omnium Banque Nationale. With his ranking just back inside the top 1000, it’s a great gift.

Saturday, he debuts on the ATP Tour against Arthur Rinderknech of France.

Juan Carlos Aguilar, then a Bolivian, poses with his doubles partner after they beat Canadians Félix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Sigouin in the US Open junior doubles final in 2016.