Saturday, June 15, 2024

Canada’s unexpected victory in the ATP Cup

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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Thanks to important victories by Felix Auger-Aliassime during the week in particular, Canada was crowned ATP Cup champions in Sydney on Sunday, beating Spain 2-0 in the final.

• Read also: Friendship leads Felix and “Shabo” to the final

And Canadians became the third winners in the history of this competition after Serbia and Russia.

“The feelings are unbelievable, Felix shot on the pitch, after his victory. There is no better feeling than winning.”

hard start

Especially since Canada has come a long way in the past days. At the end of December, Auger-Aliassime and his comrades did not even know if they could take the tournament.

Shapovalov was diagnosed with COVID-19 when he arrived in Sydney over Christmas. Stephen Days was stuck at home having tested positive and wasn’t sure if he could be in Australia in time for the event. Peter Polanski had just pulled out for personal reasons.

Named captain as Polanski’s successor, Felix had no choice but to cross his fingers. If “Shapo” and Diez could not play, the representatives of Maple Leaf would have had to withdraw from the tournament.

Canada then opened the competition by losing all three of its matches to the United States. “It was a difficult start, as Auger Eliassim admitted, but during our clash against Great Britain [le deuxième adversaire du Canada]Things started to go downhill. We’re starting to believe in him more and more,” Quebec continued.

As it turned out, the Canadians then beat Germany, Russia and Spain in quick succession to win the title.

Dominant and ultimate

Facing the Spaniards – deprived of Rafael Nadal, who played the tournament in Melbourne – Shapovalov started strong with a victory over 20e Mondial, Pablo Carreno Busta. 14e The ATP racket dominated 6-4, 6-3.

Then Felix confirmed Canada’s crown by defeating Roberto Bautista Agut (19 .).e) 7-6 (3) and 6-3, after stopping cold sweats in the first group.

The 21-year-old had a good week in Sydney, despite losing to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev (2).e in the world, 6-4 and 6-0), in the semi-finals. In the singles, Auger Aliassime defeated three of the top 20 members: Britain’s Cameron Norrie, 12e, German Alexander Zverev III, then Bautista Agut.

This morning should point to Class 9 of the ATP rankings, which is a two place jump from last week, but above all, the highest of his career.

“I like to think that this title will serve as a springboard for the whole team for the rest of the season,” said Felix. Winning is not easy. It requires a lot of effort. ”

Another page of history was written in Sydney

Stephen Diez, Felix Auger-Aliassim, Denis Shapovalov and Brayden Schnur joined forces to allow Canada to win its first ATP Cup title on Sunday.

Photo by AFP

Stephen Diez, Felix Auger-Aliassim, Denis Shapovalov and Brayden Schnur joined forces to allow Canada to win its first ATP Cup title on Sunday.

Everything that a Canadian player achieves for the first time on the world stage increases the popularity of tennis in the country. Denis Shapovalov thinks Canada’s ATP Cup win on Sunday was no exception.

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“It’s incredible for our country,” he told a news conference. Basically, we’re not really a summer sports nation, but over the past five years, with Olympic successes and many great tennis players, things have changed. It’s a good step forward. ”

Two years ago, the Canadians lost in the Davis Cup final to the Spaniards. Admittedly, the circumstances were different: Rafael Nadal was in the competition and the representatives of the maple leaf were much less experienced. Nor is the ATP Cup, the Davis Cup, a century-old competition that continues to be one of the main events of the season. But Chabo still estimated the distance between that defeat in the final and Sunday’s crown.

“I hope our victory was seen in Canada. In fact, I think it was and I hope it inspires a lot of young people to take up a racket and start tennis,” said the 23-year-old.

“I hope it gives young people something to rejoice in and people who are going through hard times with us, in confinement,” continued Felix Auger-Aliassime. He could have put a smile on their faces. “

His arm was trembling

This victory would have taken the form of learning for Auger-Aliassime. In search of their first ATP singles title, after losing eight finals, Quebecers were able to savor the euphoria of the grand conquest.

He was among the decisive victory for Canada by defeating veteran Roberto Bautista Agut. What inspires him in the future?

“It’s hard to describe how heavy my arms are, at times like this,” Felix said in an interview. Hello good Morning, Sunday. In fact, your arm is shaking in this kind of situation. “

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“But over the years, I’ve gotten used to,” he added. You are trying to see the good sides of the moment. By virtue of winning matches like this, it’s a habit that champions make. “

Sleeping with a cup

The event organizers presented small prizes to each member of the Canadian team, which also included Stephen Daes and Brayden Schnorr. Like that, do not dodge. Every player was able to sleep with their precious loot last night.

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