The draw gods were not too kind to Canadian tennis at the Mutua Madrid Open.
Canadian youngsters Denis Shapovalov and Félix Auger-Aliassime have taken the world by storm this season, with Shapovalov consolidating his place among the very best in the world by cracking the Top 20, and Auger-Aliassime vaulting into the Top 100 to a current career-high ranking of No. 30 in the world.
But on Sunday afternoon at 2pm ET, these two superstars-in-the-making are slated to clash against each other in Madrid after drawing each other in the first round of the season’s fourth ATP Tour Masters 1000 tournament.
And the drama doesn’t stop there.
DANG this draw is good. Nearly every 1R match is a must-see… and Shapovalov-Auger Aliassime to start with winner facing Nadal pic.twitter.com/FTZbtpP6uN
— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) May 4, 2019
The winner of their first-round encounter will face none other than Spain’s very own Rafael Nadal, a five-time champion at the event and the undisputed greatest clay-court player ever. Of all the clay-court Masters 1000 events, Nadal has struggled – relatively speaking – the most in the fast, flying conditions of the Madrid tournament, but nevertheless remains the ultimate challenge for any player.
Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov will partake in their second career head-to-head match at the ATP Tour level, with Ontario’s Shapovalov getting the better of his Quebecois counterpart in the first round of the US Open last season after the latter was forced to retire with heart palpitations (an ailment that has since been corrected).
Who will come out on top tomorrow on Madrid’s “Caja Magica” centre court? Tune in on TSN, RDS or Tennis TV at 1pm ET to watch.
(Feature photo: Mauricio Paiz)