Two teens to represent Canada in doubles for the first time in the team’s history

Bratislava, February 1, 2019 – When all was said and done on the first day of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Qualifiers, Canada and Slovakia stood at 1-1. Denis Shapovalov got the ball rolling with a two-set win over Filip Horansky (6-4, 7-5). In the following match, Slovakia’s no.1 Martin Klizan overpowered Félix Auger-Aliassime 7-5, 6-3. The team that comes out on top this weekend will secure a spot in the Finals to be played this November in Madrid.

In his sixth consecutive Davis Cup appearance, Shapovalov added a sixth win to his record, with only three losses. He was forced to break his opponent in each set to claim Canada’s first point. Shapovalov saved three break points and landed 70% of his first serves. Horansky, who is currently ranked World No. 219, fought in his very first Davis Cup clash.

“It was a very exciting match for me. There was a lot of pressure on me going into the match. Filip had nothing to lose, and I think he played a very good match. I served really well; it got me out of a lot of big points, and I tried to keep the pressure on him. I think my experience really helped me today,” said Shapovalov after the win.

Auger-Aliassime, who was selected for the squad last September in Toronto, got off to an excellent start in his first-ever Davis Cup match. The 18-year-old broke his opponent for a 3-0 lead and fought all the way to 5-2. But he hadn’t heard the last of Klizan, who began clawing his way back. Currently ranked World No. 38, the Slovak won the next five games and never looked back.

“As a début in my Davis Cup career, I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the match. I think he eventually found his rhythm and put more and more pressure on me. I missed my chance at 5-2, 0-30 on his serve. I clearly had the momentum but then he raised his level and played better and better. Overall, I’m happy I had this first experience. The atmosphere was great and I hope I can win my first match this weekend.”

Saturday preview

The 1-1 tie makes the doubles match all the more important, since it could set the tone for the last day of competition. With Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov jumping into the fray, Canada will be represented by an all-teen pair for the first time. The duo, who took home the 2015 US Open junior doubles title, will fight to become the second team of adolescents in Davis Cup history to win a World Group doubles match. Andres Jarryd and Hans Simonsson of Sweden accomplished the feat in 1981. The Canadians face World No. 148 Filip Polasek and World No. 66 Igor Zelenay. After the contest, Shapovalov will be back on court to battle Klizan, who outclassed him in three sets last year. If a fifth match is played to break a tie, Auger-Aliassime will go head-to-head against Horansky.

“It was Félix’s first time playing Davis Cup today, and I thought he did a great job of managing his emotions. He played his game style but, obviously, it wasn’t easy against Martin, who is a very experienced player. He has been on the Tour for a long time and played in many Davis Cup ties. It was a good learning experience for Félix, especially going into tomorrow. The matches went, on paper, as expected today. We’re now moving on to tomorrow and getting ready for the doubles,” said Team Canada captain Frank Dancevic.


Doubles ranking 371 302 148 66
Davis Cup doubles record 0-0 0-0 9-4 5-5

SHAPOVALOV VS. KLIZAN – This will be their second meeting (Klizan leads 1-0).



19 years old

29 years old

World No. 25

World No. 38

Career high: World No. 23 (June 2018)

Career high: World No. 24 (April 2015)

6th Davis Cup tie

19th Davis Cup tie

Davis Cup record: 6-3

Davis Cup record: 25-9

AUGER-ALIASSIME VS. HORANSKY – This will be their first meeting.



18 years old

26 years old

World No. 106

World No. 219

Career high: World No. 106
(January 2019)

Career high: World No. 196
(July 2018)

2nd Davis Cup tie

2nd Davis Cup tie

Davis Cup record: 0-1

Davis Cup record: 0-1

Match schedule

2019 Davis Cup Qualifiers
Canada vs. Slovakia
February 1-2, 2019
NTC Arena, Bratislava
Score: 1-1




Friday, February 1

First singles match

Shapovalov d. Horansky 6-4, 7-5

Friday, February 1

Second singles match

Klizan d. Auger-Aliassime 7-5, 6-3

Saturday, February 2

Doubles match

Auger-Aliassime/Shapovalov vs. Polasek/Zelenay

Saturday, February 2

Third singles match

Shapovalov vs. Klizan

Saturday, February 2

Fourth singles match

Auger-Aliassime vs. Horansky

Canada is competing in the Davis Cup Qualifiers to earn a spot in the Finals, which will be played in Madrid in November 2019. In keeping with the new Davis Cup format, the Qualifiers pit 12 seeded nations against 12 unseeded countries. The winners then advance to the Finals.

The matches will be broadcast live on Sportsnet.


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