Monday Digest: Canada Finishes 2022 on Top of the World

It’s been said that Canada is currently in its golden age of tennis so many times over the last few years that it has almost become a cliché.

But it has also never been truer.

The 2022 tennis season on the main tours officially came to an end on Sunday and the last trophy of the season was lifted by six men in red jackets with maple leaves on their chest. It was the culmination of 109 years of grit and determination.

And given the age of the Canadian stars, this may not even be the peak for Canada’s golden age.

Here’s what you need to know.

In Case You Missed It: Canada are the world champions

When the Canadians reached the final of the Davis Cup in their debut way back in 1913, it likely would have shocked people to learn that it would take over a century for the Canadians to get their hands on the world’s ugliest salad bowl (aka: the Davis Cup trophy).

It took 106 years for Canada to get back to the final, but their relatively young team was beaten by a ferocious Spanish squad playing on home soil.

But on Sunday, Team Canada presented by Sobeys finally ended the wait.

Led by Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, the Canadians defeated Australia 2-0 to win the first Davis Cup title in the nation’s history.

Both men scored straight-set wins in their singles matches on Sunday to secure the victory without the need for a doubles match.

The final was actually the most straight-forward of Canada’s ties in the knockout stage.

Their quarter-final with Germany and semifinal with Italy followed the same script, with Shapovalov losing a three-set heartbreaker to open the tie, Auger-Aliassime striking back with a straight-set win, and then a victory in the doubles to wrap up the win.

While he did not play in the final against Australia, Vasek Pospisil came up clutch for Canada as he so often has over the years in Davis Cup play, teaming up with Shapovalov in the quarter-finals and Auger-Aliassime in the semifinals to win the doubles.

The doubles win over Germany, won by Shapovalov and Pospisil, was particularly noteworthy as they rallied from a set down to beat a German pair that had never lost in Davis Cup play.

Playing hero at the Davis Cup marked a dream finish to a career-year for Auger-Aliassime. Dating back to the group stage in September, the Canadian No. 1 won eight consecutive matches for his country and did not have his serve broken in the knockout stage.

It is the second year in a row that the same country won both major international team competitions in the men’s game. Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov also led Canada to victory at the start of the season at the ATP Cup.

Canadian fans can also feel confident that this may not be the last victory of this era for Team Canada, as four of the five members of the team, Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime, Alexis Galarneau and Gabriel Diallo, are all age 23 or younger.

Under the Radar:

Play continues on the ATP Challenger, WTA 125, and ITF circuits even though the ATP and WTA Tours have wrapped up their seasons.

Liam Draxl had a big week at the ITF M15 event in Santo Domingo, reaching the semifinals of the singles and winning the doubles title alongside Jesse Flores. It is his first title of the season and fourth doubles title overall in his career.

On the women’s side, Bianca Jolie Fernandez, younger sister of Leylah Annie, reached the semifinals, while Louise Kwong reached the doubles final.

The ITF tour never stops, as there are events every week for the remainder of the calendar year.

You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.

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