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Felix Flies To Tashkent Title, Inches Closer To Top 100

Canadian teen claims fourth Challenger title

At this rate, it won't be long before Felix Auger-Aliassime's highly-anticipated Top 100 debut becomes a reality. On Saturday, the Canadian teen inched closer to the century mark with his fourth ATP Challenger Tour title, prevailing on the hard courts of Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Auger-Aliassime was on the attack from the first ball to last, dropping just two sets to lift the trophy as a qualifier. He won eight matches in eight days, capped by a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Kamil Majchrzak in the championship. The Montreal native provided plenty of fireworks throughout the week, edging Alexey Vatutin in a deciding tie-break in the second round, followed by an upset win over home favourite and two-time champion Denis Istomin.

"It feels really good," said Auger-Aliassime. "I forgot to sign in the tournament, so I had to play qualies. I told myself that I knew I had the level and I've won these tournaments before. It's just about taking it one match at a time. I believed in myself and as the tournament was going on, I played better and better and got more confidence. Overall, it was a great week in Tashkent."

With the victory, Auger-Aliassime rises 19 spots to a projected career-high of No. 109 in the ATP Rankings. The Canadian will look to make further progress at next week's European Open in Antwerp. He will play his ninth match in nine days in Sunday's qualifying opener at the ATP World Tour 250 event.

Moreover, Auger-Aliassime joins elite company with his victory, adding his name to a superstar cast of players who have captured at least four titles at the age of 18 and under. The 18-year-old accompanies Richard Gasquet (7), Tomas Berdych (5), Hyeon Chung (4), Mario Ancic (4) and Guillermo Coria (4) in the exclusive club.

Most Challenger Titles - Age 18 & Under

Player No. of Titles
Richard Gasquet 7
Tomas Berdych 5
Felix Auger-Aliassime 4
Hyeon Chung 4
Mario Ancic 4
Guillermo Coria 

"I handled myself well on court," Auger-Aliassime added. "There's no words to explain my week in Tashkent, but I just played great matches from the first day in the main draw. I had a couple good matches in qualies and it got me ready. As the tournament was going on, I was feeling much better to play my best level in the final.

"[In the final] I think I served really well. From the first game to the last, I had high-percentage and precise serves. I was also pretty good from the baseline and I imposed my game. I had a good tempo and was being pretty aggressive until the end, so it paid off."

Teens With Multiple Titles In The Same Season (since 2014)

Year Player
2018 Felix Auger-Aliassime (2)
2017 Felix Auger-Aliassime (2), Denis Shapovalov (2), Frances Tiafoe (2)
2016 Frances Tiafoe (2)
2015 Hyeon Chung (4), Taylor Fritz (2)
2014 Nick Kyrgios (2)

ATP Challenger Tour