Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil Make History in “The Golden Era of Canadian Tennis” | ATP Tower


Canadian tennis has been on the radar for several years, from Milos Raonic in 3rd place in the FedEx ATP rankings to Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov in the spotlight #NextGenATP. At this United States Open, the Canadians did better than ever, with three native men reaching the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.Shapovalov rallied on the verge of defeat to oust Taylor Fritz on Friday, while on Saturday Auger-Aliassime crossed against Corentin Moutet and Vasek Pospisil beat eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut. Prior to this tournament, no Canadian trio had reached the third round of a major.

“I think tennis is already booming in Canada over the past few years with Genie [Bouchard], Milos and myself and now Felix, Denis and Bianca [Andreescu]so we are definitely in a golden age for tennis in Canada, ”said Pospisil. “Tennis has obviously been a huge and amazing part of my life. It has given me so many amazing memories and opportunities for the rest of my life so I am so glad it is going so well right now in Canada and now I think a lot of kids are taking snowshoes on poles hockey. There might be a small change. “

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Photo credit: Darren Carroll / USTA
Much of the attention over the past two years has gone to Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov. They are the two youngest players in the World’s Top 50 and both are in the Top 25. Canadian NBA legend Steve Nash told ATPTour.com last September the duo’s importance to tennis in their country. .

“Denis and Felix both have big games. [They’re] great athletes who have a lot of shots. I think the two have an incredible future, ”Nash said. “The best players are the ones who have a mental mastery of their game. These young players are showing great signs. They have all the tools, and if they just keep developing that courage and that understanding, they’ll be in the top 5, the top 10 players in the world, that’s easy.

“Denis has every hit. Big, big groundstrokes. Big service. When he’s on fire, he’s unbeatable. He’s one of those guys who’s an electric player. When he’s hot, he’s unstoppable. As he gets older I think he will be one of those guys who are so hard to beat even when he doesn’t have his best deals.

Shapovalov made his first breakthrough at the 2017 Rogers Cup, defeating Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal en route to the semi-finals at the age of 18. Auger-Aliassime grabbed attention as a teenager, becoming the youngest player to win an ATP Challenger Tour match at 14. But instead of confronting each other, they led each other to success.

“I think we’ve always had a competitive friendship, a rivalry, since the juniors. I feel like we have always been competing against each other, pushing each other to the top and I’m sure we will continue to do so, ”said Shapovalov. “I think that will be the case for the rest of our career.”

<a href=Vasek Pospisil is for the first time in the fourth round of the US Open. “/>
Photo credit: Al Bello / Getty Images
They are always happy when people like Pospisil and Raonic are also successful. After Auger-Aliassime won his first trip in the fourth round of a major, the first Instagram post he published was to congratulate Pospisil, writing “Massive 🙌”.

Shapovalov said it was hard to spend too much time together during these events, adding: “I think it’s just more congratulations afterwards. Everyone is sort of in their own bubble, their own space, and we’re focused on our own business, so we don’t even check our phones too much, but we certainly get and send a lot of kudos.

Pospisil remembers the buzz when he was on the rise alongside Raonic and WTA player Eugenie Bouchard. He thinks it’s normal that fans are drawn to Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov given their young age.

“Felix and Denis came and did something that no other Canadian has done… They are already doing these amazing things. It’s natural. It’s normal. But, of course Milos and I were obviously still there and playing at a very high level, ”said Pospisil. “We now have four extremely capable players on the men’s side… really exciting times for tennis in Canada right now and it’s good to be a part of it.

Although Raonic lost in the second round of the US Open – falling to Pospisil – the eight-time ATP Tour champion has shown excellent form since returning from tennis, reaching the Open final of West and South. There are certainly many Canadians who are inspiring future generations at this time.

“I don’t know how major or minor it is, but I’m sure there is a significant impact with all of these results that Canadians have had in recent years,” Pospisil said. “It’s cool to be a part of it and I think the sky is the limit on what we can do as a nation and obviously the more successful we are, then success breeds success. I hope we have other superstars in the sport soon. ”

As happy as the players are, Shapovalov believes that the friendships they have formed, especially his with Auger-Aliassime, may be even more meaningful than their results.

“I think the important thing is that we were able to see beyond that [rivalry we have] and realize that tennis is only a small part of our life, ”Shapovalov said. “One day we’re going to stop playing and the bond, the relationship we’ve built, is going to stay.


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