Tennis Canada is holding its annual Fan Gala, and you have until December 16 to vote for your favourite moments in Canadian tennis from the past season. What was the most touching event? Who went head-to-head in the match of the year? It’s all up to YOU!
Here are the nominees for Rivalry of the Year.
It’s pretty rare for two players to brawl THREE times in a single season, but it happened to Félix Auger-Aliassime and Stefanos Tsitsipas in 2019.
In Indian Wells, our national hero prevailed in their very first altercation on the pro tour by overpowering Tsitsipas, then World No. 10, in two sets (6-4, 6-2). The win was Auger-Aliassime’s first over a member of the Top 10 but not his first over the Greek titan. As a junior, the Quebecer had a perfect 3-0 record over Tsitsipas.
Félix Auger-Aliassime(@felixtennis) ne finit plus de surprendre la planète tennis. Le Québécois s’est payé le Grec Stefanos Tsitsipas, 10e joueur mondial, au 2e tour du tournoi d’Indian Wells.🎾
— Radio-Canada Sports (@RC_Sports) March 9, 2019
Three short months later, Félix managed to outmaneuver his rival again in the quarterfinals in London (7-5, 6-2).
When asked how he was able to dominate their matches, Auger-Aliassime admitted he wasn’t quite sure! “Every match is different, but I think there’s a bit of a psychological factor because I’ve won a few matches in a row. Every time I face him on a court, I know I can win. And that’s a plus,” he explained.
At the Shanghai Masters 1000 last October, Félix came this close to preserving his flawless record against Tsitsipas but capitulated at 7-6(3), 7-6(3).
This past season, Bianca Andreescu and Angelique Kerber collided twice in matches that had the tennis world talking (and typing)!
In March, Bianca faced down the World No.8 in the final in Indian Wells.
Exhausted and in pain, the Canadian started lagging behind but was able to claw her way back and claim her very first WTA crown in three sets (6-4, 3-6, 6-4). Not long after, Sylvain Bruneau’s advice for her on the changeover went viral.
A week later, the main draw in Miami pitted Bianca against Angelique in round 2.
When our superstar got the upper hand once again, Kerber had nothing nice to say about it.
❄️ "Biggest drama queen ever" ❄️
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) March 24, 2019
And just like that, a new WTA rivalry was born.
Friends, foes or a little of both?
After their agonizing clash at the 2018 US Open from which Auger-Aliassime had to retire because of a heart problem, the Canadians met in the first round of the Madrid Masters 1000 in May.
Félix finished first: 6-2, 7-6(7).
Le Québécois Félix Auger-Aliassime a éliminé son bon ami Denis Shapovalov au premier tour du tournoi de Madrid. Les détails sur cet affrontement crève-coeur. 🎾⬇ pic.twitter.com/vcqgL7WeY5
— Radio-Canada Sports (@RC_Sports) May 5, 2019
Fourth months later, the two ran into each other again in their opening round of the US Open.
When all was said and done, Shapovalov had muscled his way forward (6-1, 6-1, 6-4).
We can’t wait to see what the two have in store for us as teammates AND rivals in 2020!
So, who do you think had the season’s best rivalry?
Vote NOW for the #TCFanGala 2019 Canadian Rivalry of the Year 🗳⬇
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) December 10, 2019
Vote now and come right back here for a rundown of the next category of Tennis Canada’s 2019 Fan Gala!