Canada wins its first Davis Cup
MALAGA, Spain | For the first time in its history, Canada is champion of the Davis Cup. The combined efforts of the two tenors of the delegation, Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, allowed the country to win the most prestigious of team competitions thanks to a 2-0 victory over Australia on Sunday in Malaga.
It was the Quebecer who secured the title for the Canadians, beating Alex de Minaur, 24th in the world, in the second meeting of the day.
The strong match which opposed the offensive of Félix to the defense of de Minaur turned in favor of the sixth in the world at the end of the first set, except for these three break points which he had to save in quick succession in the middle of the second .
The 22-year-old, unbeaten in three singles matches and a doubles match at the Martin Carpena Stadium this week, beat the Aussie 6-3, 6-4 after 1:41 a.m.
It was on a final fault of his rival that Auger-Aliassime allowed his compatriots to touch the enormous “silver salad bowl”, emblem of the 122-year-old competition.
The Quebecer then threw himself on the ground while his captain Frank Dancevic and the rest of the Canadian team came to join him on the court, under the songs of the forty supporters of the country – including many employees of Tennis Canada – who made the trip to the beautiful Andalusian city.
“It's a dream come true,” Auger-Aliassime said on the pitch. When we were young, me, the whole team, we dreamed of winning these games, of winning the Davis Cup. »
Félix Auger-Aliassime walks into the conference room with a beer he hides under the desk 👌🏻 pic.twitter.com/VbdY7FxRPr
— Jessica Lapinski (@JessicaLapinski) November 27, 2022
“It’s a great moment, he added. For me, for the whole country.
By beating de Minaur, Félix avenged the failure of 2019, when the Canadians, then very young, lost their flag in the final to Rafael Nadal's Spain.
< p>“Shapo” sets the tone
Shortly before, Shapovalov had won his first singles in Malaga, the 18th in the world easily winning ahead of Thanasi Kokkinakis, 95th, 6-2 and 6-4.
Defeat against Germany in the quarters then against Italy in the semi-finals, the 23-year-old racket was almost infallible this time against an opponent who seemed tense and who multiplied the unforced errors.
The victory of resilience< /strong>
The only blunder of “Shapo” in this match will have been to be broken while serving for the match at 5-2, but the Canadian recovered on his return to the service.
Canada has never hidden it: with a “complete” roster, also made up of Vasek Pospisil, 100th in the world, who played a crucial role in doubles in the first two confrontations, the objective was to leave Spain with the title.
A Pospisil who, at 32, was particularly moved on the pitch. “I don't want to make you cry,” the interviewer told her. “Too late,” replied the veteran of the team.
“It's a moment we've been dreaming of for several years,” he continued, after taking a moment to swallow back tears. For five years, we have had very strong players and we could believe it. I am speechless.
But the journey of the representatives of the Maple Leaf in this final phase, however, was not as peaceful as this final face to face. Thursday, then Saturday, they had to bet on the double to ensure to continue their journey.
In Valence, in September, with Félix but without “Shapo”, they had finished second in their group, which had been enough to qualify them for the final eight.
In March, without their big guns, they had been beaten by the Dutch. However, they remained in contention after being “drafted” due to the exclusion of Russia.
But regardless of the pitfalls and the plot twists, the Canadians can say “mission accomplished”. “. They are world champions.