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Felix Auger-Aliassime salutes Canadian tennis after Davis Cup exit, BJK Cup victory
With the Olympics fast approaching in 2024, optimism abounds for Team Canada after the men’s and women’s teams briefly held the world champion title at the same time.
Published Nov 28, 2023
After ending his up-and-down 2023 season on a bittersweet note, Felix Auger-Aliassime gave a shout out to the massive progress made by Canadian men’s and women’s tennis in recent years.
The 23-year-old joined countryman Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic in Malaga for the Davis Cup Finals last week. Although Canada was the defending champion, the team faced an uphill battle due to big-name absences: Denis Shapovalov was unavailable due to a knee injury, and while Auger-Aliassime made the trip he too was unable to play due to a lower body injury.
Instead, Auger-Aliassime was forced to sit on the bench as Finland stunned Canada 2-1 to move into the Davis Cup Finals semifinals.
“It was not meant to be this time but our team will be back hungry for more wins,” he wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Still very proud of what all Team Canada on both men and women teams have achieved in recent years…
“Incredibly grateful for the support we’ve been continuously showered with.”
While Raonic was able to secure the first point for Canada during last week’s tie with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Patrick Kaukovalta, the celebrations didn’t last. Finland’s Otto Virtanen defeated Gabriel Diallo 6-4, 7-5 in the second singles match, before he partnered with Harri Heliovaara to defeat Alexis Galarneau and Vasek Pospisil 7-5, 6-3 in the decisive doubles match.
“The 🇨🇦 hot streak has come to an end but we’ll be back strong,” Pospisil reflected on social media afterwards. “Always such an honor representing your country. Proud of what we’ve accomplished the last few years...
“Time to rest and recover for next year. Thanks for the support, Canada!”
Like Auger-Aliassime and Pospisil, Raonic also closed out his 2023 season with a shout out to the progress made by Canadian men’s and women’s tennis.
Last year, the men’s team clinched the Davis Cup for the first time, and the historic feat was repeated this year—this time by the women’s team, led by Leylah Fernandez, Gabriela Dabrowski and Eugenie Bouchard—at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.
“Canada is world champs in both men’s and women’s tennis at the same time,” Raonic gushed on X afterward. “Who would have thought it 13 years ago!!!”
In fact, for a few days that will go down in Canadian sports history, the country was the reigning world champion in both men’s and women’s tennis. With an eye on Olympic glory at the upcoming 2024 Paris Games, Canada has transformed from perennial underdog to gold-medal favorite in just a few years.
“It would be incredible to have either one boy or one girl, or both of them, win a medal at the Olympics," Sylvain Bruneau, the outgoing head of women's tennis at Tennis Canada, told *CBC Sports*. “I could say that's our next goal or whatever. And yes, it would be a great goal…
"It's a really reachable goal and it shows tennis in the country has made incredible progress. But we cannot be satisfied. We need to want more."
Team Canada will be back in action for the 2024 Davis Cup Qualifiers, which will take place February 2 to 4. The qualifiers feature 24 countries vying for 12 spots in the Davis Cup Group Stage. Meanwhile, the reigning Billie Jean King Cup champions have advanced to the Finals, joining runners-up Italy, hosts Spain, wildcards the Czech Republic and eight more qualifying nations in the last 12.
Before they get underway, Canada will also feature in the revamped United Cup, a combined event that serves to kick off the new season in Australia. Leylah Fernandez and Felix Auger-Aliassime will take on Group B in Sydney against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari and a wildcard team to be announced, on December 31.
The Olympic tennis event will take place July 27 to August 4, 2024, and will be contested on red clay at Roland-Garros.