Monday, July 15, 2024

Felix and Canada bow first

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
"Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic."

Felix Auger-Aliassime kicked off the new season with two losses in his first matches of the ATP Cup singles and doubles matches, which were played early Sunday in Sydney, Australia.

Canada lost its first match in the tag team competition 3-0 against the United States.

Brayden Schnur (world number 238), who played the first single to replace Denis Shapovalov, was leaning sharply 6-1 6-3 in front of giant John Isner, the number 24 player in the world.

Appointed captain of the Canadian delegation, Felix on his part lost 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-4 to Taylor Fritz, the 23rd racket in the world.

However, the ATP 11th-placed Quebec worked hard to clear the first round. Erase four set points in the tiebreak.

“I was really angry after the first set, and not just because of the tiebreak,” the American said yesterday. [dimanche]. I also had many chances to break [quatre, contre une pour Auger-Aliassime]. I felt I deserved to win.”

But Fritz did not escape the next two rounds.

“Even though I lost the first set, I felt like I couldn’t play better than that,” he added. So I focused on that.”

The return of “Shabu”

Testing positive for COVID-19 when he arrived in Sydney for Christmas, Shapovalov resumed training a few days ago.

The world’s 14th racketeer was still too tired to play his first single, but he competed in doubles alongside his close friend Felix.

In this unrelated match – with the US already leading 2-0 – the duo fell 6-4 6-4 ahead of Fritz and Isner.

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“We are delighted to have Dennis join us on time,” Felix said on Friday at a press conference ahead of the tournament. It was cramped, so we’re glad he’s available for first meetings.”

“Awesome event”

Captain Felix doesn’t seem too nervous about his role.

“I have been appointed to replace Peter [Polansky]who should have been absent for personal reasons.”

“It doesn’t change much in my preparation. I will watch Denis’ matches and when it is time to prepare for my matches, I will. This is not a role where I will have to make big decisions.”

But Quebec says he is happy to participate in the tournament alongside his friends.

“It is a great event that I love. I am happy it is back. It is good for the sport and we have to start the year like this.”

Canada will now face Great Britain Cameron Norrie and Daniel Evans tomorrow. The latter beat Germany 2-1 on Sunday.

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