Shapo­valov proud to play in fi­nal

The Citizen (KZN) - - Sport - Madrid

– De­nis Shapo­valov (right) said he was proud to have played in Canada’s first Davis Cup fi­nal although it “sucked” to lose after he suc­cumbed to Rafael Nadal in Madrid’s Magic Box on Sun­day.

The 20-year-old was handed mis­sion im­pos­si­ble after team mate Felix Auger-Alias­sime was beaten by Roberto Bautista Agut and although he pushed the 19time Grand Slam cham­pion hard, he went down 6-3 7-6(7) as Spain sealed their sixth ti­tle.

Shapo­valov was an ever-present through­out the week, win­ning three of his five sin­gles matches and pair­ing up with Vasek Pospisil to edge a de­cid­ing dou­bles rub­ber in a thriller against Rus­sia in Satur­day’s semi-fi­nals.

“I feel like we’ve re­ally come re­ally far as a team, as a na­tion. Def­i­nitely we’re su­per proud,” stylish left-han­der Shapo­valov, who has risen to 15th in the rank­ings after a late-sea­son surge, told re­porters.

“Ob­vi­ously it sucks, sucks los­ing in the fi­nals. But I’m su­per proud of ev­ery­one, ev­ery­one sit­ting here, su­per proud of the peo­ple in the back­ground.

“We’ve put in 120 per­cent every sin­gle day. So it’s amaz­ing how far we’ve been able to come.”

Shapo­valov played out­stand­ingly well in the se­cond set as world No 1 Nadal fi­nally ap­peared to be tir­ing after a marathon shift this week but he could not take the set point that ar­rived in the tiebreak.

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