In the Auger-Aliassime family, Félix is usually the one making headlines, but it’s his father Sam who recently expressed his ambitions.
Québec is currently hosting an ITF junior event that marks pro tennis’ return to the provincial capital for the first time since 2019. Still, the senior Aliassime has something bigger and better in mind.
“My goal is for Félix to one day have a tournament in his name,” he said to news outlets in Québec, where he operates a tennis academy once owned by Jacques Hérisset and Jacques Bordeleau.
The current World No.9 may be a product of the National Tennis Centre in Montréal, but he learned the basics at Club Avantage in Québec—a city that’s always held a special place in his heart.
The idea is to have an ATP 250 or even 500 tournament, like the Serbia Open run by Novak Djokovic and friends.
The juniors from a dozen or so countries are a step in that direction.
“We’re not stopping there,” affirmed Sam, who has the support of Québec’s Monsieur Tennis Jacques Hérisset.
So, stay tuned. Especially since the PEPS athletic centre at Université Laval is looking to build new tennis facilities!
NO TO RUSSIAN AND BELARUSIAN COMPETITORS
The news came down like a hammer: in the wake of the ongoing war in Ukraine, Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the tournament.
The ITF had already suspended the Russian and Belarusian tennis federations from Billie Jean King Cup and Davis Cup.
The decision means players including No.2 Daniil Medvedev, No.4 Aryna Sabalenka and No.8 Andrey Rublev will have to sit it out.
The UK’s other grass court tournaments will likely follow suit.
ANDREESCU’S COME A LONG, LONG WAY
How long, you ask? She’s getting back in the mix Stuttgart this week, but her break with tennis started long before her last match in the third round in Indian Wells last October.
“I wanted to stop everything,” said Bianca, who now sits at No.121 after rising as high as World No.4 after her 2019 US Open win.
“I was constantly stressed and couldn’t keep going,” she added. After a retreat in Costa Rica, she’s now more at peace than ever before.
There’s more good news: Rafael Nadal is back on the practice courts a month after departing from Indian Wells with a rib injury that spoiled his perfect start to the season (20 wins in 21 matches).
He’s decided to skip Monte Carlo and Barcelona, which he’s won more than once, and may come back in Madrid on May 1 or in Rome the following week. The next stop is Roland-Garros, of course, where he’s raised the winner’s trophy 13 times.
Leylah Fernandez, Canada’s top ace at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in November, is thinking big.
Just last week, she said that if Bianca is healthy, Canada will be a tough team to beat.
DAVIS CUP: HOST WANTED
France has withdrawn its bid to host the 2022 Davis Cup Finals due to “onerous financial and operational conditions.”
Valencia, Spain, has its eyes on the event and is in a great position to negotiate
ASHLEIGH’S BACK, TOO… In Golf
As expected, Ashleigh Barty’s recent retirement has already come to an end. The former No.1 is back. On the golf course, that is.
She’s joined the Icons Series as a member of the world team led by Ernie Els that will take on team USA and Fred Couple on June 30 and July 1 at Donald Trump’s very own Liberty National in New Jersey.
Michael Phelps, Oscar De La Hoya and Ben Roethlisberger will also be in action at the celebrity tournament.
Ashleigh’s game keeps getting better and better. Engaged to a trainee pro, she currently plays off a handicap of four and just won a championship in Queensland.
At Billie Jean King Cup, Belgium won by default over a disqualified Belarus, and the players donated the entirety of their winnings ($56,666) to Ukrainian relief.
NEXT GEN SHARAPOVA
On her 35th birthday, former World No.1 Maria Sharapova confirmed she was expecting her first child.
“Eating birthday cake for two has always been my speciality,” she wrote her Instagram announcement.