Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov surprised defending champions Russia Saturday in a decisive doubles rubber to ship Canada storming into an ATP Cup remaining towards Spain.
Their Sydney showdown went to the wire after Shapovalov neutralised Roman Safiullin 6-4, 5-7, 6-Four within the opening singles match.
But world quantity two Daniil Medvedev then thrashed 11th-ranked Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-Zero to stage it up with a flawless efficiency in an ominous warning forward of the Australian Open later this month.
It compelled the match right into a doubles shoot-out which seemed to be going Russia’s manner just for Canada to seek out an additional gear and grind out a 4-6, 7-5, 10-7 win to make their first-ever remaining within the crew occasion.
“Felix did an amazing job. I had a little bit of a slow start, had trouble returning, but we did a good job to fight,” stated Shapovalov, who missed Canada’s first singles match on the event whereas he recovered from Covid-19.
“We have great team chemistry, team spirit, so it helped us a lot.”
Auger-Aliassime admitted he was down on confidence after crashing so closely within the singles towards Medvedev, however stated his long-time buddy Shapovalov helped him re-focus.
“I had to try and stay positive. Of course, it was tough, especially (because) that second set went the way it went in singles,” he stated.
“Denis helped me and the crew to push myself. We had a troublesome begin within the doubles, so to have the ability to come again on this manner, it is actually a crew effort.
“That’s what the ATP Cup is about. You can still win after being 1-all and losing a tough singles.”
Their reward is a conflict with 2020 runners-up face Spain on Sunday they usually have an enormous process forward towards the unflappable Roberto Bautista Agut and his strong teammate Pablo Carreno Busta.
Both gamers are each in red-hot kind, every successful all 4 of their singles encounters thus far.
Medvedev led Auger-Aliassime 2-Zero of their singles head-to-heads going into Saturday’s match, along with his most up-to-date triumph coming in an enormous conflict in final 12 months’s US Open semi-finals, a event he went on to win.
But Auger-Aliassime nonetheless had confidence heading into the match after defeating world quantity three Alexander Zverev on Thursday.
The Russian grasp, nevertheless, by no means let him settle and cruised to victory in 69 minutes.
The Canadian began effectively and used his serve to manage factors, however when he was damaged at 4-Four within the first set his recreation unravelled.
“He was serving just aces, playing good, so I knew I just had to stay in the match, try to do what I can, what’s possible against his big game,” stated Medvedev, who would be the high seed on the Australian Open ought to Novak Djokovic not play.
“He definitely started to play a little bit worse and I managed to use it, and that was the key today.”
Shapovalov earlier needed to work arduous to place away the gritty Safiullin, along with his serve and baseline recreation in the end proving an excessive amount of within the essential moments.
“Definitely super tough. Obviously Roman is playing with a lot of confidence,” stated Shapovalov.
“He’s a great player and surely he’s going to have an amazing season, so I’m very happy to get the win. It was definitely very tough.”