The young Canadians advanced on Monday to the men’s singles quarterfinals, one in easy straight sets, and the other in a gutty five-set victory.
As the Montreal Canadiens, Canada’s hope for hockey’s Stanley Cup, faced elimination across an ocean, the compatriots Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime broke through to their first Wimbledon quarterfinals within hours of each other on Monday afternoon.
Shapovalov, who won the junior Wimbledon title in 2016, strung together two of his best matches in the men’s draw across the middle stages of this tournament. He used the same word to describe his fourth-round win, save for a couple of late wobbles, as he had used after the third round: flawless.
“I played really, really flawless,” the 10th-seeded Shapovalov said Monday after a 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 win over the eighth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut on No. 3 Court. “Super happy with myself.”
The fun continued for Canada hours later on No. 1 Court, with the 16th-seeded Auger-Aliassime hanging on for a 6-4, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 3-6, 6-4 victory over the fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev.
Auger-Aliassime had also been a heralded junior of whom much was expected, winning the 2016 junior U.S. Open two months after Shapovalov’s triumph at Wimbledon.
After 4 hours 2 minutes of their topsy-turvy tussle, Auger-Aliassime closed out what he called “surely the best victory of my life so far” with an overhead smash on match point, sinking to his knees in relief as he followed through on the shot.
“A great day for us Canadians and hopefully it keeps going,” Auger-Aliassime said.