Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks back on the week that was in the world of tennis. This week, Charles Blouin-Gascon recaps the Rotterdam Open.
Canadian tennis almost woke up with a new king.
Over the weekend, young Felix Auger-Aliassime had the biggest opportunity of his young career in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament final in Rotterdam, competing against defending champion Gael Monfils in a match that, had he won, would have given him a first career title and boosted his rankings points enough to slot him ahead of current No. 1 Canadian Denis Shapovalov. Best first deposit bonus casino has predicted that the youngster will in no time win his first title and be ranked top 10 in the world.
That would have been the dream scenario.
— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) February 16, 2020
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 16, 2020
Instead, Monfils did Monfils things and FAA suffered quite a resounding 6-2 and 6-4 defeat at the hands of a wily and in-form veteran. The win was a second title won against a Canadian in as many weeks for the Frenchman after last week’s triumph against Vasek Pospisil in what’s a clear illustration of why the few weeks of February definitely can help a player’s season and career. Here’s to hoping we might see more great results in the coming weeks and months for Monfils. (At least we hope so, because men’s tennis is better when the 33-year-old is involved.)
As things stand today, Auger-Aliassime will have to be happy with having been the youngest finalist in the history of the Rotterdam event all the while remaining title-less and ranked second best Canadian behind countryman Shapovalov.
We’ve been lucky to come to know the @Gael_Monfils show. ?
— ABN AMRO WTT (@abnamrowtt) February 16, 2020
Despite an edge in winners, Auger-Aliassime’s 32 unforced errors doomed him and made him fall to 0-4 in career finals. This specific one served as a good reminder for the young Canadian that while he might have arrived, he still has plenty of room to grow.
But still, overall this week in Rotterdam teased of a bright future ahead for young Auger-Aliassime. Entering the top 20 players in the world is still very much an unbelievable feat for anyone, let alone a 19-year-old in his fourth full professional season. The youngster still represents the best player to come out of Canada’s national program, but that’s the thing about potential: it’s great to flash it, but some day you need to capitalize on things and actualize it into tangible results.
Oddly enough, the Canadian might be interested in looking across the tennis net in Rotterdam and see in his opponent just about a best-case scenario for how his own career will unfold. Oh, the two are definitely different players with their different styles but the comparison shouldn’t be one between their style of play. Rather, in Monfils Auger-Aliassime can see someone who had flashed potential in his youth and who’s managed to probably exceed the biggest and brightest career stimulations to become an actual force and better players of his era. Sure, maybe he hasn’t won Grand Slam tournaments but in this day and age who the hell has?
It’s during these times that we can come to appreciate a player like Monfils, a tour veteran of 15 years with now 10 career titles to his name and a mainstay of the Top 10 for damn near a decade now. Here’s the part where folks roll their eyes and scoff at the previous, but let’s not take a player of his stature for granted: not everyone can and will be, say, Novak Djokovic, but we shouldn’t discredit them either.
If we’re talking about FAA in 12 years in the same ways we are about Monfils this year, then it’ll be mission accomplished.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG