Andy Roddick believes Canadian starlet Felix Auger-Aliassime is going to be ‘an animal’ once he fully develops physically. Auger-Aliassime has been tipped to become a future world No 1 and at 19-years-old he has already reached five ATP Tour finals and a semi-final of a Masters 1000.
Auger-Aliassime is currently ranked 20th in the world and Roddick has no doubt big things are on the horizon for the teenager.
“I think he’s got a huge upside,” Roddick said on Tennis Channel.
“It seems like he has easy power, he doesn’t look like he’s swinging out of his shoes, yet the ball comes out heavy.
“He’s 6ft3 and 190lbs but still looks awkward and skinny which means he is going to be an animal at some point.”
Roddick was similarly effusive in his praise for Coco Gauff, who despite only turning 16 earlier this month, already has a WTA Tour title to her name and hasn’t lost before the third round in her three Grand Slam appearances so far.
She’s claimed the notable scalp of seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams on two occasions and beat Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open in January.
Roddick added: “Coco Gauff is amazing. We played in a couple of exhibitions last year and I hadn’t met her before then.
“It is a weird thing to see a 15-year-old, at that moment, just as comfortable in a room full of people her age as she is with 60-year-olds.
“It was amazing [to see] her social IQ and navigating between the two, I was really impressed with her.”
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Roddick’s comments on Gauff, echo the thoughts Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou.
Gauff trains at Mouratoglou’s academy in France and he firmly believes she already has what it takes to be a Grand Slam champion.
Mouratoglou said: “I could see Coco getting to the final and winning a Grand Slam. And I feel she is not that far away.
“A big serve, unbelievable backhand, she does a lot of things – she is able to come to the net.
“The match against Sofia Kenin in Melbourne showed Coco needs to improve yet. Of course, she does.
“But her maturity is incredible at 16. That’s what stands out most for me.
“The ways she handles matches, it’s really unique, but she is still only 16 and when you are only 16 you still have so many things you need to improve which is great.
“At that age, having so much to improve, it says so much about her as a person.”
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