Canadians crush Aussies en route to Davis Cup title

CANADA ended Australia’s Davis Cup dream overnight in Malaga, with Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime winning their respective singles and ensuring the North American nation came away with the title. Auger-Aliassime had been in scintillating form, and while he was coming up an equally impressive Alex de Minaur, he had a few too many weapons. Shapovalov took down Thanasi Kokkinakis in the earlier match to help the Canadians to their first ever Davis Cup title.

Canada felt defeat in the 2019 Davis Cup Final, but there was to be no repeat of that, with the rising stars bringing their A-game to the big stage. Shapovalov won 6-2 6-4 over Kokkinakis, who has struggled of late on the singles circuit. That match went for 90 minutes, with the Canadian giving his nation the upper hand. Shapovalov hit 23 winners to five and only 10 unforced errors to eight during the straight sets victory.

In the second singles match, Auger-Aliassime was tested by de Minaur, but managed to prevail 6-3 6-4 after staving off eight break point opportunities for the Australian. Auger-Aliassime broke twice from four break points without dropping a service game himself, and hit 16 winners to the Australian’s five. While de Minaur hit just the four unforced errors in a consistent match, Auger-Aliassime got his hands dirty with a 73 per cent second serve success rate.

“The emotions are tough to describe,” Auger-Aliassime said post-tie

“Denis and I grew up together, dreaming of these types of stage, dreaming of winning the Davis Cup. It’s a great moment for myself and for the country.”

For Shapovalov, it was about living out a dream that his predecessors could not quite achieve, and while his tournament itself had been a little shaky, he was thrilled to come away with the win in the final.

“From when we were juniors, watching Vasek [Pospisil], Milos Raonic and Daniel Nestor play Davis Cup, we wanted to do the same, and maybe even to win it one day,” Shapovalov said. “It was tough to lose in 2019, it was an empty feeling and we wanted it badly this time.”

Though not making it onto the court for doubles due to his younger teammates wrapping up the tie in two matches, Vasek Pospisil said it was a dream come true.

“We’ve been dreaming about this for several years,” he said. 

“To be here as world champions, I’m speechless. These guys are not kids any more. They’ve been crushing it. You can’t win this event without tremendous team chemistry, going forwards as one unit, and all these guys represent exactly that.”

Australia had to settle for the bridesmaids tag in the second team event of the month, following the women’s Billie Jean King Cup runners-up effort to Switzerland.

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