(Wimbledon) Since the tournament began in 1877, three Canadians have reached the men’s singles quarter-finals at the Wimbledon Open. On Monday alone, two made the achievement.
Denis Shapovalov, first, and then Felix Auger-Aliassime a few hours later, combined his efforts to achieve a first in tennis history in Canada by reaching the men’s singles quarter-finals in a tournament in the same year. Great blows.
In the early afternoon, Shapovalov played his part by defeating Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-3, 7-5.
In the evening, in a thrilling duel lasting four hours and two minutes, which also stopped briefly during the decisive round, when the roof slid over the meadow of Court No. 1, Auger-Aliassime completed this prestigious double by taking out the German. Alexander Zverev, seeded 4th, 6-4, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 3-6, 6-4.
Shapovalov and Auger Aliasim are also the fourth and fifth Canadians to reach the men’s singles quarter-finals at Wimbledon.
Robert Powell was, on three occasions, the first in 1908, 1910 and 1912. More recently, Milos Raonic (2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018) and Vasek Pospisil (2015) have achieved the feat.
In Shapovalov’s case, it would be his second appearance in a Grand Slam quarter-final after taking him out last year at the US Open.
As for Auger-Aliasime, this will be his first attendance at this point in a Grand Slam tournament. And his first victory over Zverev after three failures filled him with happiness.
“It’s a dream come true, it’s unbelievable. When you’re young you dream about times like these. I’m a “normal” guy from Montreal, Canada, and here I am, short No. 1, full of capacity, Wimbledon. Definitely the best victory of my life so far. It was So special in front of you. With the roof closed, the sound was insane like I’ve never seen it before,” he said during his interview on the edge of the stadium after the match, surrounded by the audience who applauded heartily.
However, for a while, Quebec’s biggest supporters may have been afraid to see the Australian Open scenario repeat last February. Then he left Auger-Aliassime a two-set lead against Russia’s Aslan Karatsev before winning the fourth round, on the threshold of the quarter-finals of the first Grand Slam of this year.
“It was difficult,” replied Auger Eliassim, 16.e A seed, on the field when asked if it was hard for him to keep faith on Monday
“Firstly, I never hit Alex before. He is a great player, I always had a hard time against him, I never won a set against him. After two zero sets, I believed in that and he started playing better, serving better and it became really difficult. When he came back from the second half. In the fifth set, I had to dive deep. She helped me get there, because on my own it was much more difficult.”
Auger-Aliassime helped with his serve, thanks to which he scored 17 aces. Zverev is the opposite of that who made 20 double faults.
In the quarter-finals, he will face Italy’s Oger-Aliassime Matteo Berrettini, who beat Ilya Ivachka 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.
“I will play another match, which is always good, against a good friend of mine, Mathieu. He is one of the best players in the world right now. I am looking to the future. I think it will be exciting and we will play our best tennis. It will be good.”
Very satisfactory performance
Ontario 22 years old, 10e The championship seed, noting 15 aces and 52 winning strikes, compared to eight double faults and 41 unforced errors.
Shapovalov earned 78% of his points after putting his first point in play, scored seven breaks on 13 chances and saved 10 of the 12 break points he faced.
The only two breaks he admitted came in the third inning, when the two opponents exchanged the break in their first four matches.
After the match, Shapovalov was very satisfied with his performance, except for the most stressful moments in the third set.
“I felt a little nervous in the third set. I think that’s normal. I reacted very well to this. Other than that, I played flawlessly.
In the quarter-finals, he will face Russia’s Karen Khachanov, who defeated promising American Sebastian Korda in five rounds, also on Monday.
This will be the second confrontation between Shapovalov and Khachanov. The Canadian beat Khachanov in three sets 6-4 4-6 6-4 in the 2019 Davis Cup Finals in Spain on hard ground.
“Of course I expect a long and tough fight. Karen is a great player. He has proven time and time again that he can beat the best and play really well.”