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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday January 8, 2021

 
Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov rallied to send Canada to its first ATP Cup final, defeating Russia in doubles.

Photo Source: Getty

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov rallied for a dramatic doubles victory to send Canada to its first ever ATP Cup final. The duo took down Daniil Medvedev and Roman Safiullin of Russia 4-6, 7-5, 10-7, after the nations had split singles rubbers earlier in the evening.

Tennis Express

Shapovalov opened the tie with a 6-4 5-7 6-4 triumph over Russia’s Safiullin, and World No.2 Daniil Medvedev levelled the tie by rolling past Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-0.

"I had a tough one against Daniil, who is one of the best right now," Auger-Aliassime said. "I think, you know, we really brought the best energy we could in the doubles, especially in the super-tiebreak we lifted ourselves. I'm really happy we're through, for sure."

But the defending champion Russians could not keep the momentum, even after grabbing the first set of the doubles. Auger-Aliassime hung tough in the second set an broke in the final game on their fourth break point before dominating the match tiebreak.

“Felix did an amazing job,” Shapovalov said. “I had a little bit of a slow start, had trouble returning, but we did a good job to fight. Felix played unbelievable in the game to break and then in the Tiebreak as well, just making them play so much. It was awesome. We kept fighting. We have great team chemistry, team spirit, so it helped us a lot.”


Canada rebounded nicely from a dismal opening tie which saw them lose to USA 3-0. Russia had dominated the doubles all week, with Medvedev and Safiullin going 3-0, but they couldn’t close the deal on Saturday night.

The loss ends a seven-time winning streak for Russia, dating back to the start of their title run in 2021

Canada will square off with Spain, which is led by Pablo Carreno Busta and Roberto Bautista Agut, for the title on Sunday in Sydney.

"Everyone on the team has made such a great effort to come this far, and I just hope tomorrow we can, you know, we can go one more step further," Shapovalov said.


 

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