It was another strong week for Canadian men’s tennis this week, as 20-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime won his first-ever ATP doubles tournament at the Paris Masters 1000 on Sunday.
On the singles side of things, Ontario’s Milos Raonic finished his 2020 season with a tight semifinal loss to US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev, 6-4, 7-6(4). While the end result might not have been was Raonic was hoping for, it bookended a relatively successful season for the soon-to-be 30-year-old, who saw his world ranking jump three spots to world number 14.
For Raonic, this marks the first time he’s been inside the top 15 since April 2019 and is his highest ranking since March 2019 when he also reached world number 14. It’s been a promising run of late for the 29-year-old, who will look to use his recent string of performances as motivation for the 2021 season. However, Raonic has hinted that he may not play as much in 2021 if the playing conditions and bubble life extend into the new year as a result of COVID-19.
While Auger-Aliassime lost his lone singles match in the round of 64 to 2014 US Open winner Marin Čilić, it seems the extra rest may have served him well on the doubles side, as he went on a tear alongside 23-year-old partner Hubert Hurkacz from Poland to capture the tournament title in three sets over Bruno Soares and Mate Pavić.
Despite facing five match points in the second set, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz refused to crumble, saving all five points before eventually taking the tiebreaker by a score of 9-7.
After the nail-biting second set, Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz cruised to victory in the deciding third set tiebreak, defeating the fourth-seeded tandem of Soares and Pavić by a score of 10-2. However, it certainly wasn’t an easy path to the championship for the pair.
Their only straight-sets victory came in the first round, followed by four straight three-set contests, during which they lost the first set in all but one. To add to their challenges, they had the difficult assignment of facing the first, second, fourth, and seventh-seeded tandems along the way.
For their winning efforts in the one hour and 52-minute match, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz will split the $142,129 US prize total. Having won the championship in only their second tournament together, we’ll definitely have to keep on eye out for this duo in 2021.