MALAGA, Spain - Canada won its first Davis Cup title on Sunday, beating Australia behind victories from Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Montreal's Auger-Aliassime beat Australia's Alex de Minaur 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday to clinch Canada's first Davis Cup championship.
Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., won Canada's first singles match - 6-2, 6-4 over Thanasi Kokkinakis - on Sunday.
“The emotions are tough to describe,” said Auger-Aliassime. “We grew up together, dreaming about being on this stage, winning these types of matches, winning the Davis Cup. It's really a dream come true. That's what we play for. That's what sport is for. It was a great moment for us and for the country.”
Shapovalov had dropped both his singles matches this week and needed treatment on his back during a three-set loss Saturday in the semifinals to Italy's Lorenzo Sonego that lasted 3 hours, 15 minutes. But the left-hander moved quickly around the court Sunday, setting up angles to put away winners while racing to a 4-0 lead in the first set.
“(I am) definitely happy to get a singles win for the team. You know, I felt close the last two matches. The games have been good, but just wasn't able to get over the finish line,” said Shapovalov.
Auger-Aliassime then finished off his superb second half of the season by completing a perfect week in Spain. He twice had kept the Canadians alive after Shapovalov dropped the opening singles match, and on Saturday he replaced his weary teammate to join Vasek Pospisil for the decisive doubles point.
This time, he made sure the doubles match wouldn't even be necessary.
It was Canada's second Davis Cup final appearance in four years.
A Canadian squad featuring Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime and Vasek Pospisil advanced to the 2019 final, where it lost 2-0 to Spain.
“Vasek has been part of Davis Cup for many years, won many matches. I remember as a kid watching him play. Won a lot of clutch matches. Then to have all the rest of young guys coming up and playing well. It's a special team” said Auger-Aliassime. “Hopefully, you know, we are able to bring this very far, you know, this generation.
With the win, Canada has automatically qualified for the 2023 Davis Cup Finals.
With files from The Associated Press
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2022