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Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime fire Canada to ATP Cup triumph

Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime fire Canada to ATP Cup triumph

SYDNEY: Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime put in commanding performances against Spanish opponents to win their respective singles matches and fire Canada to their maiden ATP Cup title on Sunday.

Shapovalov showed plenty of aggression to beat Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4, 6-3 in the opening singles rubber to put Canada one win away from winning the $10 million team-based competition.

World number 11 Auger-Aliassime then served strongly to take down Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 and give Canada an unassailable 2-0 lead in the tie.

Canada, the first team in the ATP Cup’s three-year history to have lost a tie en route to the final, were swept by the United States in their group opener and also lost their first match against Britain.

“The emotions are unbelievable,” Auger-Aliassime said.

“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 saved 10 of the 11 break points he faced and had 15 aces.

Shapovalov had lost four of five previous matches against Carreno Busta.

“[I had] a little bit of nerves going out. Obviously I’ve got a tough record against Carreno Busta, so I knew it was going to be a tough match,” Shapovalov said. “It’s a huge win.”

Spain ended up as ATP Cup runner-up for a second time after losing the 2020 final to Serbia.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2022

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