Following up on their US Open Junior Boys Doubles championship, Denis Shapovolov of Ontario and Felix Auger-Aliassime of Quebec were in winning form again at the Junior Davis Cup, played in Madrid, Spain.
Canada’s under 16 boys team were the top seeded team in the event. They beat Poland, Hong Kong and the Czech Republic in round robin play and Russia in the semifinals without dropping a match. Japan lost to Germany in their semi-final.
In the finals, against Germany, Denis led the way with a straightforward win over Marvin Moeller. Felix lost the next singles match to Nicola Kuhn. Denis and Felix then took on their singles opponents in the doubles match which would decide the tie. After taking the first set 6-3, the Germans fought back to win the second set. Fortunately the Canadian duo were able to seal the deal with a 6-2 win in the third set to win Canada’s first-ever Junior Davis Cup title..
The third member of the winning team was Benjamin Sigouin of Quebec. The best finish by a Canadian Junior Davis Cup or Fed Cup team before this year was second place — 2011, 2004, 2003 (Junior Fed Cup) and 2010 (Junior Davis Cup).
"It's very exciting being the first Canadians to ever win Junior Davis Cup," said Shapovalov. "We knew we had the team to do it as all three of the players on this team are great and contributed. We are very excited."
The women's junior Fed Cup team, made up Bianca Andreescu of Ontario, Charlotte Robillard-Millette of Quebec and Vanessa Wong of Ontario also competed very well. They won their round robin grouping with Japan, Great Britain and Japan. In the semi-finals they played top seeded and eventual champions, Czech Republic and regrouped to defeat Russia to take third place. USA was the other team in the final four.
15 countries qualify for the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup, which is for under-16 players, through regional qualifying events. The host country teams automatically qualify. This year 168 teams from 94 countries took part in regional qualifying for this event. This competition has been held since 1985. Formerly known as the World Youth Cup, it was rebranded as Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup in 2002.
The Sunshine and Connolly Cups, known informally as the junior Davis and Fed Cups, were competitions for under-18 players organized by the ITF. The Canadian team of Daniel Nestor and Rob Janacek of Ontario, along with Sebastien Lareau and Sebastien Leblanc of Quebec, won the Sunshine Cup in 1989. These Cup events have not been played since 2001.
Pictured here are the winning Canadian and Czech Republic teams. The Czech girls, Marketa Vondrousova, Monika Kilnarova and Anna Slovakova won their final over USA to take the Junior Fed Cup. Photo by Martin Sidorjak.