ATP Cup

Canada Dominate to Win ATP Cup

A quick roundup of this week’s tennis news, with highpoints for team Canada and Nadal.

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

nadal mebourne 250 2022

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

djokobic melbourne exemption

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.

Alex Nulliah

My name is Alex Nulliah and I am a tennis writer from Bath. I enjoy writing about tennis, International Relations and anything else which takes my interest. At Exeter University I took a BA in History and an MA in Applied Security Strategy. I love playing tennis.

10 Comments

  1. First?
    Well done Canada
    Glad to see Nadal in good health. Competition for the next gen.
    Djokovic should be allowed to compete, even if only out of respect for the titles he’s won there!

    1. I think you cannot make him have a different condition than others “just” because of “respect for the titles he’s won there!” Tha makes the cause for decisions according to other players who were rejected seem ridiculous. I don’t doubt that many wants him to come. But rules are rules, and it should apply to all, otherwise there’s no reason to have them.

      1. Yes Muser I can see what you’re saying, but it shows the sad sorry state of politics when someone named Laurel Hubbard is given respect for personal decisions and allowed to compete, and so far, Novak Djokovic isn’t. I’m not someone who sits around rooting for Novak, I just think there’s a sad mess of hypocrisy out there all for the name of woke. To bring up a controversial subject, if he decided to be transgender, he’d probably get all the political support he needs.

      2. I certainly don’t think you should make an exception just for him. That said, would we be arguing differently on here if it were Federer in his position?

        BTW, am I the only one envisioning Djokovic having attended one or more “Covid parties” or similar in December in a deliberate attempt to catch it again and exempt himself, or am I being unfair to him?

      3. Alison, no, you are not the only one. And the day after Novak tested positive, he delivered prizes and so on to teams of young people. ! – I don’t think this a realistic situation for RF. He wouldn’t try to get special treatment, I really guess, he would respect the rules. But in the unbelievable occasion that he would not, I would be so dissatisfied, and hope to think same about treatment as of Novak. – By now, the judge has decided in favor of Novak. So he’ll probably play. But I also heard that the judgement could be appealed of. Well, seems not probable. Still this has not convinced me of Novak’s good moral considering covid-situation

      4. Tennisfan: The LH situation is not agreed upon all around the world. A big sports-organisation just decided to favor born women in women’s department in branches that demand special muscular physics. This seams reasonable, and I would be surprised, if not a lot many agree on this.

  2. Go Canada, eh! Felix and Shapo are coming into their own. The high risk shots at the worst times seems to be fading for Shapo…fingers crossed. Felix’s game is becoming more solid. This win is so unexpected with the horrid start to the tournament. Great for confidence heading into the AO.
    Nadal back at it. Did he play anyone of note to bite the boomerang?
    The Djokovic saga is about TV ratings, $$$, politics and of course…public opinion. Which way should the politicians go to get that vote! Whether you like him or not, have suffered or not (haven’t we all?), is he really a threat to the health of the people of Australia? He is a threat to the mental health of those that suffered. The severe lock-downs the people of Vic went through…I understand their anger.
    Hopefully, people will have an open mind to the global situation. What are we learning about humankind from Covid? What are we learning about ourselves?

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