'Rafael Nadal proved too strong for Denis Shapovalov, but it was tight,' says..



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'Rafael Nadal proved too strong for Denis Shapovalov, but it was tight,' says..

Speaking about his 2019 Davis Cup Finals experience, the young Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime praised the organization and the entire event. It was a true festival of tennis for a teenager, with the world's leading figures fighting in the national jerseys for a prestigious trophy.

Canada played on a high level to reach the final against the mighty host nation, with Spain celebrating a 2-0 triumph to lift the trophy in front of the home crowd. Roberto Bautista Agut toppled Felix Auger-Aliassime before Rafael Nadal and Denis Shapovalov stepped on the court.

Describing the match, Felix said that Denis had his chances in set number two before Nadal brought it home to wrap up the encounter. Nadal beat Shapovalov 6-3, 7-6 in an hour and 55 minutes, finishing the tournament without losing a set.

Shapovalov had a set point in the second set's tie break, fighting hard and saving five out of six break chances. Rafa claimed the opening set with a single break in game six, and it was a much tighter battle in set number two.

The Canadian produced some fine shotmaking at 4-6 in the tie break, saving two match points and creating a set point at 7-6. Nadal denied it with a forehand winner and converted the third match point at 8-7 to deliver the sixth Davis Cup trophy for his country.

"For the Canadian players, the Davis Cup Finals event is the world cup of tennis, like those you have in football or basketball. You fight for your country and always want to deliver your best. It brings exciting matches and unique emotions.

The Davis Cup Finals'Finals' tension was very high; we had all the best players competing simultaneously at the same venue. It was great for the fans too. It was remarkable to represent my country with my teammates and friends.

We played well and had a chance to fight against Spain in the final; that's one of my best memories from the court. Vasek Pospisil has always been a great friend; I would even say a big brother. We have a special relationship, and he is like a family to me.

Felix Auger-Aliassime spoke about Rafael Nadal's performance in Madrid 2019.

Denis Shapovalov is a complete player; he doesn't have weaknesses with explosive serve and groundstrokes. I would describe him as cold-blooded.

He is a killer on the court, not scared of anybody, not even Rafa in front of 12,000 people in Madrid. I never heard a crowd like in Madrid 2019. Your anthem is on, and you feel goosebumps. When the Spanish team entered the court, it was something I never felt before.

I didn't play bad; you could feel there's something special around Roberto Bautista Agut, who just lost his father. When he needed it, he found that extra gear and beat me in straight sets. After my loss, we tried to stay positive, and I returned to the stands to support Denis against Rafa.

I remember it was a well-fought match, with Denis having his chances in the second set to force a decider. Rafa showed outstanding leadership and deserved to win. It was one of his memorable triumphs, and it came right in front of my eyes; it was very inspiring for a young player like me.

It became tough for Denis after losing the opening set, but he kept fighting, as always in the Davis Cup, as you never give up. If they went to the doubles, we had Vasek, who didn't play that day and was fresh for the doubles.

It was an excellent decision to keep him fresh for the doubles alongside Denis. We were very proud, standing on the podium with a team like Spain. For sure, it was tough to accept the defeat; I think the whole team was a bit down.

After the match, we wanted to regroup and leave in the locker room, thinking about the future. At the same time, we appreciated what we did that week, stand proudly on the podium with the young and promising team," Felix Auger-Aliassime said.