From the ATP Cup to the Davis Cup, Canada thrives in men’s team tournaments in 2022. Canada won the Davis Cup for the first time after winning the ATP Cup earlier in the year.
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There is no I in team… but there may be a ‘uh,’ when Canadian men’s tennis closed 2022 the same way it began: by winning a team event. Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-singles Aliassime’s victory helped Canada win the Davis Cup Finals, just as they did against Spain at the ATP Cup in January.
On Sunday, they beat Thanasi Kokkinakis and Alex de Minaur, respectively, to secure a 2-0 triumph against Australia, the country’s first Davis Cup championship in the competition’s 109-year history. Vasek Pospisil also helped Canada’s cause this week, partnering Shapovalov in a crucial doubles win against Germany in the quarterfinals and doing the same with Auger-Aliassime in the semifinals against Italy.
Alexis Galarneau, a 23-year-old former North Carolina State University tennis player, and Gabriel Diallo, a 21-year-old rising senior at the University of Kentucky, completed the squad.
“The feelings are difficult to put into words at the ATP Cup,” Auger-Aliassime said after scoring Canada’s championship point. “Everyone here has dreamed of this moment. Except for Vasek, who is a little older than me, these guys around me grew up together in Canada from the ages of 7-8 years old dreaming of being on this stage, winning these types of matches, winning the Davis Cup, so it’s truly a dream come true for me personally, and I believe for the entire team.
“That’s why we play, why sport exists, why tennis exists.” It was a historic occasion for both me and the nation.”
Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov’s development into top ATP players has transformed their nation into a tennis powerhouse. They were instrumental in leading Canada to its first-ever junior ATP Cup win in 2015, and they were also key members of the squad that finished runner-up in the 2019 Davis Cup Finals.
With the ATP Cup set to be replaced by the mixed-gender United Cup in 2023, and Canada’s WTA depth boasting 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez, and Top 10-doubles talent Gabriela Dabrowski, the country could be the odds-on favorite for the trophy in each of tennis’ numerous team competitions for years to come.
According to Auger-Aliassime, belief is essential, and he and his teammates believe.
“We all grew as players individually.” “We’ve become better over the years, and I feel like as we’ve gotten better, we’ve been more prepared for these sorts of occasions,” Auger-Aliassime said.
“However, it is never simple to persevere at the ATP Cup. We had an excellent squad in front of us… I’m glad we were able to win the Davis Cup with this squad.”