US Open 2020: in silence, Canadian tennis prepares a historic assault to the top of tennis

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It is the only country with three representatives in the round of 16: Feliz Auger-Aliassime, Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov, who is already in the quarterfinals.

Canada is looking more and more seriously to be a world tennis power. This sport shows a sustained growth in that country and goes for everything in this US Open 2020, in which it is the only one who had three players in the round of 16 (one has already reached fourth), something that had never happened before.

Felix Auger-Aliassime He first made headlines in tennis when he was just 14 years old. In March 2015, the Canadian – who blows the candles on August 8, like Roger Federer – became the first tennis player born in 2000 to get into the ATP ranking. It was still missing to see the power of his blows live, but the teenager already warned that his was serious.

In Flushing Meadows, the 21st of the world was one of those responsible for making history with the Canadian flag, as well as Denis Shapovalov, another young star (21 years old) who reached 13th in the ranking earlier this year, and Vasek Pospisil, who at 30 is fitter than ever and playing at a very high level.

Canada had had representatives among the 16 best of the American Grand Slam. I had achieved it for the first time Martin Laurendeau in 1988. And more recently, Milos Raonic, who got into that group four times: in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2018. But he had never had a trio of tennis players in that instance. Until now…

Auger-Aliassime, 20, is the great project of Canadian tennis and, together with Shapovalov, one of the candidates to inherit the top positions of the ranking when the era of tennis is over. Big Three.

Born in Montreal and of Togolese descent, he is contesting the fifth main draw of a Grand Slam in his career in New York. His best performance to date had been the third round at Wimbledon 2019, where he lost in three sets to the Frenchman. Ugo Humbert, in a duel in which he was the clear favorite. That blow made him mature.

“I’m a different person. Calmer and more prepared. I know how I want to play and where I want to go. Last year at Wimbledon there were too many expectations, but I felt that my tennis was not at a great level, it was not enough. Now I feel confident. . There is work to be done, but I am sure that I can play well, “he commented a few days ago, after a resounding victory in the second round against Andy Murray.

In that match, Auger-Aliassime dominated the former world number one and beat him 6-2, 6-3 and 6-4. In his debut, he had to work much harder to overcome Brazilian Thiago Monteiro (83rd) 6-3, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (8-6) and 7-6 (8-6) . And on Saturday, for the third round, he signed an even more comfortable victory: he was 6-1, 6-0 and 6-4 against Frenchman Corentin Moutet (77th), to become the first player born in the past decade in hit the eighths of a “big”.

Competitive, fast on the track and with a solid service and a very good forehand, after that celebration he warned: “I am here to impose myself. Off the pitch, I’m a nice person, but on the inside the best man wins. Only one survives. You have to come out with that killer instinct. ”

He will have the most complicated commitment in the quarterfinals: he will face Austrian Dominic Thiem, second seed and finalist this year at the Australian Open this Monday. “It doesn’t really have a weak point. The only thing he lacks is more experience. I think my only advantage for that game is that he will play for the first time in the second week of a Grand Slam and I will not, “Thiem praised him.

Shapovalov, on the other hand, does know what it is like to reach the knockout stages of a Grand Slam. The number 17 in the world ranking reached that round precisely at the US Open in 2017, the year in which he burst onto the circuit.

Just before landing in New York, he was a semifinalist at the Montreal Masters 1,000, in which he scored an unexpected victory against Rafael Nadal, two in the world, in the second round. At Flushing Meadows he exceeded the qualy and reached the fourth round, in which he lost to Spanish Pablo Carreño Busta.

Those competitions reached him to put his name among the young people with the most future in the world of tennis. It was difficult for him to take off, but little by little he found more and more regularity and in 2019 he won his first professional title in Stockholm (he won the final against Serbian Filip Krajinovic) and reached the final at the Masters 1,000 in Paris, where he lost to Novak Djokovic .

The Russian had a lot to do with that launch Mikhail Youzhny, who became his new coach last year, just before the US Open. “He was one of the players I most admired as a kid,” said Shapovalov, whose father is also Russian.

“Mikhail has helped my game a lot. He has made me a smarter player and I am learning a lot from him. Like my game has a lot of power and that is my main weapon, but there are other things I can do to win. I have others. strengths, “he added.

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