ATP Cup 2022, Australian Open, tennis news, Canada beats Spain to win the first ATP Cup, Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime, standings, scores, results
21-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime faced Spanish star Roberto Bautista Agut for a massive victory that earned his country their first ATP Cup title on Sunday.
Their showdown in Sydney followed 22-year-old Denis Shapovalov, ending Pablo Carreno Busta’s victorious start to the season 6-4, 6-3 to set the stage for a second singles single.
World No.11 Auger-Aliassime beat third Alexander Zverev in the tournament and once again showed his class to beat 19th Bautista Agut, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 and seal the tournament for Canada .
Serbia led by Novak Djokovic won the inaugural edition of the team event in 2020, when Spain led by Rafael Nadal also had to settle for second place with Daniil Medvedev’s Russia winning the year title. last.
“The emotions are incredible, there is no better feeling than winning, we left everything behind,” said Auger-Aliassime.
“We lost our first four games in this competition, but we never stopped believing in it.
“We trust each other, Denis and I and everyone in the team, and I think that’s very important. I am very happy for everyone in the team, and of course for myself.
“Spain is still tough, it’s been the best nation in the world for quite some time.”
Canada earned their place in the final after beating defending champions Russia on Saturday.
They also beat Zverev’s Germany and Great Britain in group matches, rebounding after crashing into the United States in their tournament opener.
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It was a phenomenal effort from Auger-Aliassime who was heavily beaten by world number two Medvedev on Saturday, losing the last nine consecutive games.
He and Bautista Agut started nervously at the Ken Rosewall Arena and Auger-Aliassime was shattered in his first service game, but fought back directly to equalize.
They went to serve in an intense series of long rallies and the Spaniard netted a vitally important ninth game, saving three break points to stay alive.
It ended in a tiebreaker with the Canadian playing an electric pass shot and then a manual forehand to storm 4-1 ahead and held on to take the set in a thrilling 85 minutes.
Auger-Aliassime, at only 21, served magnificently and gave the tiring Bautista Agut few opportunities.
On the other hand, he put pressure on the Spaniard’s serve, creating opportunities with his powerful forehands and it ultimately paid off with a break to go clear of 5-3.
With victory in sight, he served for a deserved victory that sparked happy scenes as the team congratulated and hugged each other.
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Both Spanish players were in great shape, each winning their four singles matches so far.
And Carreno Busta held a 4-1 advantage over Shapovalov ahead of their clash, winning their last three games, including a five-set thriller in the 2020 US Open quarter-finals.
But the young Canadian world number 14 has stepped up his efforts to seek revenge and put his country to a title victory.
“It’s a huge victory,” Shapovalov said after his match. “Total faith in Felix. He’s an incredible player and I think we have a good chance.
The dynamic 22-year-old saved eight of the nine break points he faced to triumph.
The first game of the game, on Shapovalov’s serve, was critical. Carreno Busta had five break opportunities, which, if converted, could have tipped the scales in his favor. But Shapovalov held on, looking for his shots to secure the opening set.
The Spaniard, who lost a set and a break in the second set, fell back to 3-4, but Shapovalov hit a winning forehand in the next game to resume the break before serving his victory.