Toronto, September 13, 2015 – The all-Canadian duo of Felix Auger-Aliassime (Montreal) and Denis Shapovalov (Toronto) have been crowned Junior US Open boys’ doubles champions after ousting Americans Brandon Holt and Riley Smith 7-5, 7-6(3) in the final at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in New York on Sunday.
Broken while serving for the first set at 5-4, Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov bounced back and won the next two games to secure the one-set advantage. The Canadian teenagers then fell behind in the second set before rain suspended play with their opponents serving for the set at 5-3. Coming back from a more than three-hour rain delay, Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov jumped to a quick start, forcing a second-set tiebreaker where they ultimately clinched the triumph.
“We played really well, and it’s a great start for us,” Shapovalov said. “I feel like this is just the beginning of a great future for me and Felix – or as we like call us, ‘Team Sauger’.”
With the victory, they become the 10th and 11th Canadians to win a junior Slam title and first since Carol Zhao won the girls’ doubles trophy at the 2013 Junior Australian Open with Croatian Ana Konjuh. The list also includes Eugenie Bouchard, Filip Peliwo, Sharon Fichman, Frank Dancevic, Jocelyn Robichaud, Greg Rusedski, Sebastien Lareau, and Sebastien LeBlanc. Bouchard and Peliwo remain the only Canadians to have won a singles crown, with Peliwo the last to win at the US Open in 2012.
Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov are also only the second all-Canadian team ever to win a junior Slam doubles title. Lareau and LeBlanc captured the Junior French Open and Junior Wimbledon doubles crowns in 1990.
“I’m really happy about our win today,” said Auger-Aliassime. “It feels great, especially because it’s been 25 years since an all-Canadian team has won a junior doubles Grand Slam.”
This was the Grand Slam debut for 15-year-old Auger-Aliassime, who is the highest-ranked junior boy in Canada with an ITF world ranking of No. 26. After starting the year at No. 572, he is now the youngest player in the Top 100. For Shapovalov, the current indoor and outdoor under-18 national champion, it was his third Slam appearance. The 16-year-old is currently ranked world No. 53.