The 20-year-old Canadian talent surprisingly crashed out in straight-sets against world no. 82 Salvatore Caruso during Wednesday’s Sofia ATP event and ends an unprecedented year with a four-match losing streak. However, he’s already reached six ATP Tour Finals without a singles title to show for it, and remains motivated in his pursuit of more consistent success long-term.
Denis Shapovalov’s surprising defeat in just 75 minutes against Radu Albot (#93) meant his young compatriot Auger-Aliassime was the highest-ranked player remaining in this week’s draw.
That last all of 24 hours though, as Felix also crashed out – losing 6-4, 6-4 in 1h41 minutes against the Italian during what was their first H2H meeting on tour. Having turned 20 back in early August, Felix (world no.21) has taken pride as the highest-ranked player among the U21 bracket.
Italian teenager Jannik Sinner (#41) could continue rising should he win this week’s tournament, while Alex de Minaur (#23) and Casper Ruud (#27) are among the 21-year-olds in the top 30 as it stands too.
Shapovalov (#12) has endured mixed results since reaching the US Open quarter-finals in September, though the goal for both Canadians remains the same – maintaining consistency and knowing when to peak at specific tournaments.
Defeats against Diego Schwartzman (Cologne), Vasek Pospisil (Vienna), Marin Cilic (Paris) and now Caruso mean Felix is enduring his worst singles run for a while, though he won the ATP doubles title with Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz (#34) last week. That’s what he used as perspective.
In a recent interview this past week, he was quoted as saying:
“It’s a good thing to lift the trophy in Paris. I’m happy that I won a title, regardless of whether it was in singles or doubles. I’m still looking for that first singles title, but it will come when it has to and when I deserve it.
I don’t have a crystal ball, every week is a chance. You play a tournament, you try to win. I’ve lost some first rounds this year and made some finals. In the end, I want to raise my level to one day be the best player I can.”