Felix Auger-Aliassime recorded an impressive 7-6, 6-3 victory against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut on Sunday to clinch the ATP Cup title for Canada. It is interesting to note that Canada lost its first four matches of this year’s competition. They could very well have been eliminated before playing the third Group C tie, however, favourable results gave the Canadians a chance to progress and they seized their opportunity to the maximum. Earlier, Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov won a deciding doubles against Russia on Saturday to knock out the defending champions. With the trophy on the line, the duo produced an impressive display to defeat Spain.
“The emotions are unbelievable. There’s no better feeling than winning. We left everything out there. We came back from far in this competition, losing our first four matches. But we never stopped believing,” Auger-Aliassime said. “I think that’s very important. We trust each other to the highest level. Denis and I, everybody in the team — Brayden [Schnur] played in singles, Steven [Diez] played in doubles and they’ve been supporting us all week.
“They’ve got a tournament next week, but they’re here every day ready to practise, ready to support us. All their egos are aside and we really trusted each other along the way and it came down to the perfect result. I’m super thrilled for everybody in the whole team and myself, of course.”
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On Saturday, Auger-Aliassime, who was also his country’s captain, lost at No.1 singles against Daniil Medvedev, losing the final nine games of that match. Undeterred by the disappointment, the 21-year-old bounced back from that setback in style to get past Bautista Agut in two hours and 10 minutes.
“I think the points just come and you try to really dig deep, think about the good things and think how you’re going to win that point. Just on and on and on, I was able to do it every time,” Auger-Aliassime said. “Sometimes it’s a bit of luck and today also I was good in the important moments, so that’s always important. Just tried to stay positive, also.”
Earlier in the tie, Shapovalov had won his match with a 6-4, 6-3 scoreline against Pablo Carreno Busta. “Couldn’t have wished for a better start. If it wasn’t for Denis the past two days, we wouldn’t be here right now. I’d like to congratulate him. He’s been unbelievable,” Auger-Aliassime said. “He lost the past few times against Carreno and today he won in straight sets. Not with ease, but the way he can play he won in a good way, so honestly all credit to him.”