Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov deliver Canada’s first Davis Cup title

Canada won its first Davis Cup title on Sunday, beating Australia with victories over Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Auger-Aliassime secured the winning run as he defeated Alex de Minaur 6-3, 6-4 after Shapovalov opened the day by rolling past Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-2, 6-4. Seven years after leading Canada to the top of junior tennis, Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov and their teammates finally lifted the top team trophy in their sport.

“I think of all of us here, we’ve been dreaming of this moment,” Auger-Aliassime said.

Shapovalov had dropped both of his singles matches this week and needed treatment on the back during Saturday’s three-set semifinal loss to Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego that lasted 3 hours and 15 minutes. But the southpaw moved quickly down the field on Sunday, setting up corners to chase away winners as he raced to a 4-0 lead in the first set.

Auger-Aliassime then concluded its excellent second half of the season with a perfect week in Spain. He had kept the Canadians alive twice after Shapovalov dropped the opening singles match, and on Saturday replaced his tired teammate to join Vasek Pospisil for the deciding double.

This time, Auger-Aliassime made sure the doubles match wouldn’t even be necessary. He fell on his back behind the baseline after the winning run before Canadian bench teammates raced to jump on top of him. Then they got up and danced in a circle.

Canada had reached the final only once, falling to Madrid in 2019, when Rafael defeated Nadal Shapovalov for the deciding point after Auger-Aliassime lost in the opening game.

But with Auger-Aliassime having since moved up the rankings to its current No. 6 spot, the Canadians are now a much more formidable team. They won the ATP Cup in January and eventually added the Davis Cup crown to Auger-Aliassime’s junior Davis Cup title and Shapovalov led them in 2015.

“We wanted to grow up and be part of the team and try to help the country win the first title,” said Shapovalov, “so everything is so surreal now.” Australia tried for its 29th title and first since current captain Lleyton Hewitt joined the title winning team in 2003.

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