Teenager Auger-Aliassime ready to rock against Raonic

(Last Updated On: March 11, 2018)

Felix Auger_Aliassime
INDIAN WELLS–Twenty years ago in Canada, there were a few very good players, but not that many. Now, there are a bunch. The teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime upset the veteran Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 7-6, and now he will go up against Milos Raonic on Sunday. Raonic has reached the final at Wimbledon a couple years ago. Without a doubt, he wants to win a gigantic tournament, but he gets hurt frequently, so the only way to do it and stay healthy this season, because if he doesn’t, he won’t be able to take down the big boys. 

Plus, Raonic must know that already Auger-Aliassime is very good, fast and strong. He is young, so it is hard to tell how great he will be over the years, but many folks that he is already darn good.   

He can’t wait to play Raonic at Indian Wells.

“I am exciting to see someone I have looked up to growing up. I’ll try do everything I can to return the serve and hang in there. It’s quite exciting. I’m looking forward to it, yeah,” Auger-Aliassime said.

When you are young, there is a lot to learn. Even if you are practicing everyday, you still have to try new shots. And stay with it. Look at Roger Federer, who has won 20 Grand Slams, but it took him 35 years to accept his leaping backhand. The Canadian has a ton of things to practice and learn. But already, he likes a few important swings.

“My strengths are probably my serve, forehand. I’m an aggressive player, but I think the coverage of the court is something I have been working on. And I think it’s paying off now with the big guys, you know, to be able to cover the court, to move well, and then to defend and stay in the points,” Auger-Aliassime said. “That’s something that helps me a lot. As a player, you try and be as complete as you can, so there is a lot of things I want to improve and just that consistency that I want to get over the matches and over the tournaments.”

The women
The two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza is once again struggling, up and down. She was pretty decent in Europe in February, reaching the final on Doha and in the semis in Dubai. But now, she is floundering. In the third set against Sachia Vickery, the American hustled and banged away, while Muguruza overhit and was inpatient. Good for Vickery, but so-so for Muguruza.

As the Spaniard said, there is a lot of depth now and almost anyone can be upset. Perhaps not, but maybe things are changing. Vickery is ranked No. 100, while Muguruza is ranked No. 3.  

“We always say that there are so many players that can be dangerous, that can be motivated and have a great day and face an opponent where maybe they don’t have a lot of pressure and play good,” Muguruza said. “Maybe the top player exits early. And we have seen this so many times.”

Muguruza says that before she played with Vickery, she watched her a little bit, but in the match,  the American jumped on the ball. Plus, Vickery was very motivated.

“I think she has a great physical skill. I just think that when players with not a lot of experience play against top players, they are very motivated,” Muguruza said. “They elevate always their game. She was getting a little bit more excited, and the key points went her way, and she was getting more into the match and, at the end, she had a lot more confidence.”

More notes
It is very surprising that Aga Radwanska lost early again, losing against Naomi Osaka. Aga is already outside of the top 30 and she could be unseeded at Roland Garros in a few months. Radwanska needs to rest, for a while, until her body is fully heals. …Venus and Serena Williams both won on Saturday. They will face each other on Monday, which should be a fascinating contest. Obviously, Serena hasn’t beaten her many times, but given that the younger sister hasn’t played on court for the past 14 months, she’s a little rusty. Venus has played a fair amount in 2017, and this year, too. So yes, if Venus plays extremely well, she can upset Serena. But to beat her, Venus must serve very big, return with depth, and control her forehand. … How about the unknown Danielle Collins who upset Madison Keys? Collins changed it up a lot, while Keys lost her touch. She needs to step it up — again. … Dominic Thiem overcame Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2 3-6 6-3 and now he will face Pablo Cuevas on hardcourts. Neither of them loves hardcourts, but they can move well on the courts and they can whack it away. Three sets for sure. … That was a quite a win by Fernando Verdasco, who took down Grigor Dimitrov. Verdasco might be a little bit older, but he is focusing, again. Plus, as he said, he still loves playing tennis. 15 years later. That’s a lot. More tomorrow …     

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