PARIS – Félix Auger-Aliassime has a little time on his hands, and still in Paris rehabbing his adductor injury.
So on Sunday, he hit Court 12 at Roland Garros Sunday.
The Canadian teen went not to practice, but to cheer on one of his fellow teens from Tennis Canada’s national centre in Montreal.
Taha Baadi, 17, was making his Grand Slam level debut in the first round of the French Open juniors.
And with Auger-Aliassime fist-pumping him every step of the way, Baadi came back from a set and a break down to run away to victory in the third.
It’s in incredible to think that Baadi and Auger-Aliassime are less than a year apart.
Baadi will turn 18 on July 19. Three weeks later, Auger-Aliassime will turn 19.
But Baadi is probably on an average type of junior track, maybe a little on the late-blooming side. His pal is rocking the ATP TOUR.
Despite having to pull out of his first Roland Garros with the adductor injury, Auger-Aliassime will even move up a spot to a career-high No. 21 next Monday.
The only thing that would prevent that is if Benoit Paire, the man who defeated him in the Lyon final a week ago, manages to come back and beat Kei Nishikori in their fourth-round singles match.
That match was suspended for darkness Sunday night, with Nishikori up two sets to one.
On the way back
Because he didn’t have a match to play, Auger-Aliassime didn’t have to worry about being out in the heat for a few hours and sapping his energy. So he was all-in on Baadi’s match.
No fiddling with the phone. No distractions. Just straight-on focus. How awesome is this kid, really.
It won’t be that long before it might be too much of a hassle for Auger-Aliassime to just sit in the stands at a Slam like that. But for now, he only was asked for a few autographs and was able to enjoy a little normalcy with trainer Nicolas Perrotte and some other Tennis Canada people.
He told Tennis.Life that his rehab was coming along on schedule. And that he was planning to get back on court Monday for the first time.
So far, Auger-Aliassime is still entered in the Stuttgart tournament on grass, which begins in a week.