NEW YORK — The Canadian duo of Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov were victorious in their U.S. Open debut, capturing the junior boys’ doubles title on Sunday by downing the American team of Brandon Holt and Riley Smith.
Montreal’s Auger-Aliassime, 15, and Toronto’s Shapovalov, 16, took the match in straight sets, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) in one hour 23 minutes.
“We played really well, and it’s a great start for us,” Shapovalov said. “I feel like this is just the beginning of a great future for me and Felix — or as we like call us, ‘Team Sauger’.”
Broken while serving for the first set at 5-4, Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov bounced back and won the next two games to secure the one-set advantage.
The Canadian teenagers fell behind in the second set before rain suspended play with their opponents serving for the set at 5-3. Coming back from a more than three-hour delay, Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov jumped to a quick start, forcing a second-set tiebreaker where they ultimately clinched the triumph.
Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov are only the second all-Canadian team ever to win a junior Slam doubles title. Sebastien Lareau and Sebastien LeBlanc captured the Junior French Open and Junior Wimbledon doubles crowns in 1990.
“I’m really happy about our win today,” said Auger-Aliassime. “It feels great, especially because it’s been 25 years since an all-Canadian team has won a junior doubles Grand Slam.”
This was the Grand Slam debut for Auger-Aliassime, who is the highest-ranked junior boy in Canada with an ITF world ranking of No. 26. After starting the year at No. 572, he is now the youngest player in the Top 100. For Shapovalov, the current indoor and outdoor under-18 national champion, it was his third Slam appearance. He is currently ranked No. 53 in the world.
The Canadian Press