Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov Mix a Nation at Wimbledon

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WIMBLEDON, England – As the Montreal Canadiens, Canada’s hope for hockey’s Stanley Cup, the compatriots faced qualifiers in the ocean. Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime reached their first Wimbledon quarterfinals within hours of Monday afternoon.

Shapovalov, who won the junior Wimbledon title in 2016, has put together two of his best men’s draws in the middle stages of this tournament. He used the same word as he used after the third round to describe his fourth-round win, except for a few late wobbles: flawless.

“I played really, really flawlessly,” 10-seeded Shapovalov said on Monday after a 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 win over 8-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut on No.3 Court. “I am very happy with myself.”

In the third round, Shapovalov used to knock down domestic hero Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in his first game on Central Court. questioning the viability of his career.

“Being him in straight sets in a tournament like this supports my level in Andy’s match,” Shapovalov said of his 52 wins over Bautista Agut and his 14th over Bautista Agut win. “Of course I’m just happy that I feel like I’m improving every game. Honestly, it was really fun out there.”

The fun for Canada continued hours later on Court 1 as 16th seeded Auger-Aliassime took a 6-4, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 3-6, 6-4 win. fourth number Alexander Zverev.

Auger-Aliassime was a highly anticipated teenager, winning the 2016 junior US Open two months after Shapovalov’s victory at Wimbledon.

After 4 hours and 2 minutes of head-to-head combat, Auger-Aliassime capped off what he called “absolutely the best victory of my life so far” with a head-on shot at the point of the match and fell to his knees in relief as he continued. shot.

“It’s a great day for us Canadians and I hope it continues,” Auger-Aliassime said.

As Canada rose, it experienced a surprisingly early sunset over its southern neighbor, Wimbledon. The United States started with 33 players in a singles draw, but Coco Gauff, Madison Keys and Sebastian Korda lost their fourth-round games on Monday, meaning for the first time since 2014 no American has reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

2014 edition of the tournament coincidentally it was a banner year of Canada – Eugenie Bouchard advances to the final and Milos Raonic made it to the semi-finals.

It has been a bumpy road to success. canadian tennis, however. Bouchard and Raonic missed this tournament due to injuries. Fifth-seeded Bianca Andreescu is Canada’s only Grand Slam champion. 2019 US Open, here lost in the first round.

But Shapovalov, 22, and Auger-Aliassime, 20, lived up to expectations that both came from years ago.

Even if their potential was realized, there were reasons for pessimism for both at Wimbledon. Shapovalov missed the French Open with a shoulder problem, and Auger-Aliassime was defeated in the final of the ATP tournament held in Stuttgart, Germany last month, lowering his record in the finals to 0-8.

Auger-Aliassime bent but unbroken with wild changes in momentum against Zverev on Monday. “This match really had it all,” he said. “I had to dig deep physically and mentally. Of course it makes it even sweeter. ”

“It’s a dream come true, it’s incredible,” he said. “I’m a regular guy from Montreal, Canada, and here I am.”

Although the two men have been friends for a long time, Shapovalov has a tougher outlook and finds motivation in his shyness as a young player about the Canadian tennis system.

“I think what made me who I am today is proving people wrong,” Shapovalov said. “I was a kid growing up without the help of a foundation, my family alone was putting every dollar they earned from work on my career. Always having to prove myself, not always being good enough, not being selected for teams and places – it’s always been that way for me.”

This sensibility shaped Shapovalov’s passion off the field — his rap career. Despite using hip-hop tropes about expensive cars and drinking champagne, Shapovalov’s lyrics also take a hostile approach to his perceived humiliation.

“They all left me on the ground, they couldn’t see my worth; now I’m in the clouds, don’t belong in this world,” he rapped on the recently released song “Broken”.

Shapovalov admitted that this motivation, driven by disdain from commentators or social media, was a “constant theme” for him.

“I keep inspiring or continuing myself that way,” she said. “I’m definitely not a hateful person – I don’t think I hold grudges – but that motivates me about my athletic side, how I am on the court. Of course, it’s something I always come back to to inspire me.”

On Wednesday, Auger-Aliassime will face seventh-seeded Matteo Berrettini, a close friend of whom he recently watched Italy’s win against Belgium in the European football championship.

while he speaks Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer Auger-Aliassime, who both advanced to the quarterfinals with straight-set wins and are clear favorites, acknowledged that the withdrawal of top-five players Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem “could open up a bit of a draw for some players”.

“As players on the tour, you try to seize every opportunity you can get.” “Of course you don’t always do it, but you fight for it. It’s good to see new faces in the quarterfinals. At least I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Shapovalov will make his first Wimbledon quarterfinals as favorites against 25th seeded Russian Karen Khachanov, who won in Monday’s wildest match.

After four sets of fairly standard tennis between two big hitters, Khachanov’s fifth set against Sebastian Korda turned into a frayed battle of nerves, with the two breaking serves 13 times in the fifth set of Khachanov’s 3-6, 6-4, 6. met for -3, 5-7, 10-8 wins. According to IBM, 13 timeouts in a set was the Wimbledon men’s singles record.

“At least we recorded some,” said Khachanov with a smug smile. “It’s not common, but that’s what happens on nerves.”

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