Team Canada won the ATP Cup against Spain on a sizzling last day of the event. Electrifying young guns Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime crushed their opponents in two singles matches on Sunday. Shapovalov rapidly denied Spain's Pablo Carreño Busta any chance of triumph in a straight-sets affair.
The Canadian made seven aces to his opponent's one and maintained a healthy lead in first serve percentages. Shapovalov's powerful one-handed backhand prevented Busta from staying effective in rallies and helped him cruise to a 6-4, 6-3 victory.
Then it was up to Auger-Aliassime to clinch the title against Roberto Bautista Agut. Following a tiebreak to decide the first set in Canada's favour, Auger-Aliassime continued his impressive form, remaining tight to the baseline for booming groundstrokes.
The heavy balls were too much for Agut to deal with, who was forced into retreat behind the line. After a serve guaranteed victory with a long return from Agut, Shapovalov rushed towards his teammate in celebration. Later, team Canada savoured their well-earned moment by popping champagne in the locker room.
Nadal Makes Epic Comeback in Melbourne Warmup
Rafael Nadal has won the Melbourne Summer Set final in a thrilling performance against American qualifier Maxime Cressy.
Quick reflexes from the baseline and strong forehands led the Spaniard to a 7-6, 6-3 victory. Things looked disastrous for Rafael Nadal in 2021. He experienced a bruising loss to Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros semi-finals before his season was cut short in August with foot problems. He was forced to miss the prestigious ATP Finals held in Turin for the first time.
Yet in Australia, Nadal has mounted a blistering comeback. After time off, he looks fitter and ready to take on the new season with zest. Nadal added more variety to his game, with volleys and drop shots that have stunned opponents. His chance of winning the Open later in January have been significantly boosted. Aside from his impressive performance, Rod Laver Arena played host to the Summer Set final, giving Nadal an excellent feel for upcoming court conditions.
Djokovic Remains Stuck in Immigration Hotel
Novak Djokovic is being kept in an immigration detention hotel as officials debate his visa status. The unvaccinated nine-time Australian Open champion was allegedly awarded a temporary activity visa for entering the country because he recently contracted Covid. He was also granted a medical exemption by Tennis Australia to play in the tournament on the same basis of the previous infection. He is therefore deemed a limited threat to the local population's health.
But when Djokovic arrived in Australia on Wednesday, his progress was halted when the Federal government revoked his visa. Since then, he has been spending his time at the local Park Hotel. Djokovic has since requested a different facility, with access to a private chef and tennis court.
A judge will rule on the case this Monday. The visa row heated up after government requests to defer the hearing for Wednesday – after the draw entry deadline – were rejected. Federal officials also claim that no guarantee of entry was ever given. While local Victorians have expressed concern about Djokovic being granted access, Novak has enjoyed support from quarters in Serbia and Melbourne, with fans gathering outside his hotel.
What do you think of Nadal's comeback? Will it secure him victory for another grand slam, or will the NextGen halt him? And should Djokovic be allowed to compete for a record 10th Australian Open title? Leave your comments below.