The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

Brisebois: Another strong September for Félix, Nishikori to compete in Drummondville

October 3, 2022

September has always been good to Félix Auger-Aliassime.

In 2021, he made his first entry into the quarters of a Slam and the ATP Top 10. Back in September 2019, he stormed into the Top 20.

As for September 2022, it was a crystal clear demonstration of Félix’s ability to take his tennis to the next level.

We all knew he could topple even the most formidable giants. He tightened the screws on Daniil Medvedev in the quarters in Melbourne and Rafa Nadal in the fourth round at Roland-Garros, and now he’s finally done it.

In the space of 11 days, he overpowered the reigning US Open and Wimbledon champions.

In Davis Cup competition, Félix defeated Carlos Alcaraz in a match that perfectly illustrates what the next five or ten years hold for the ATP. Then, at Laver Cup, he vanquished Novak Djokovic.

Carlos Alcaraz wins a point at the Davis Cup in Valencia
Photo : Martin Sidorjak/Tennis Canada

With his win in doubles over Andy Murray, he actually outplayed three No.1s.

Ever gracious, Félix acknowledged that Alcaraz was just coming off his big win in NYC and Djokovic was suffering from a wrist injury (that didn’t stop him from competing the following week). Still, it’s been a lucrative month.

“It’s one of the best performances of my career so far. I’ve been close a few times against these great champions, so it feels good to get a win like this,” he said in London.

The rest of the season looks equally promising for Félix with the upcoming Paris Masters and perhaps an appearance at the ATP Finals in Turin, since he’s currently seventh on the list of eight who’ll get a ticket. And don’t forget the potential hat trick in Spain at a third Davis Cup.

Much deserved gift for Drummondville

The Drummondville National Bank Challenger got some excellent news when former World No.4 Kei Nishikori chose to make his big comeback at the tournament held from November 13 to 20. 

The Japanese ace’s record features a US Open final (2014), a National Bank Open final (2016) and 12 ATP titles.

It’s a bonus the trio that heads the tournament—namely Alain Caillé, Dominic Joly and Stéphan Hamel—truly deserves. And so do local fans.

The 32-year-old is returning to the game following a hip injury. This week marks a full year since he’s competed, and that explains his current ranking of No.748. He’s even extended his stay in Canada, since he’ll be in the mix at the Calgary National Bank Challenger the week before Drummondville.

“When Kei asked for more information about Calgary, we told him about Drummondville. He agreed to play after we agreed to some of his requests,” said tournament director Richard Quirion. “It’s nothing extravagant, and he’ll be taking part in a few things to support the tournament.”

Saguenay right around the corner

In addition to the headliners in Granby, expect to hear news out of Saguenay next week. There will be a press conference ahead of the tournament, which runs from October 16 to 23.

The event will be celebrating its 15th anniversary.

“I know the committee [led by Jean Delisle] is working hard,” said Richard Quirion, who promised to drop a few names next week.

News from Gabriel Diallo

The University of Kentucky is very proud of Gabriel Diallo, who sits at No.2 in the ITA Division I men’s singles rankings on September 6. And so is Tennis Canada, of course.