LONDON — Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov both advanced to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the first time on a memorable day in Canadian men’s tennis.
The two young tennis stars, and longtime friends, posted impressive fourth-round wins on Manic Monday at the grass-court Grand Slam.
Auger-Aliassime moved on with a 6-4, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 3-6, 6-4 upset over fourth-ranked German Alexander Zverev. The Canadian had 17 aces in the match.
Earlier, Shapovalov posted a 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut.
Auger-Aliassime withstood a comeback attempt from Zverev and earned what he called ”surely the best victory of my life.”
“This match really had everything,” Auger-Aliassime said. “I had to really dig deep physically and mentally, and of course it makes it even sweeter.”
The 20-year-old from Montreal will face Matteo Berrettini next.
The match finished under a closed roof on No. 1 Court after a brief rain delay early in the fifth set.
The back-and-forth match saw Auger-Aliassime come back from being down a break in both the first and second set to take a 2-0 lead.
Zverev found his game and handily took the next two sets, and the German seemed to have all the momentum going into the fifth.
Auger-Aliassime, however, broke Zverev in the opening game of the deciding set and held on for the victory, dropping to his knees in celebration after match point.
“My celebration was very honest and genuine,” Auger-Aliassime said. “it’s a big milestone for me in my young career.
“You want to play well at the Grand Slams, especially here, being my favourite tournament.”
Auger-Aliassime, seeded 16th at Wimbledon, reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time.
Zverev struggled with his serve throughout and finished with 20 double-faults.
Shapovalov, ranked 10th at the grass-court Grand Slam, fired 15 aces in the win over No. 8 Bautista Agut and broke the Spaniard seven times on 13 chances.
“(I) played some really high-level tennis today,” Shapovalov said. “It’s really, really tough to pick on many things.
“Obviously I got a little bit nervous in the third set. I think it’s completely normal. I dealt with that really, really well. Other than that, I played really flawless.”
Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., will next face 25th-seed Karen Khachanov of Russia, who will also be playing in Wimbledon’s final eight for the first time.
The two have met once before, with Shapovalov defeating Khachanov 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 on hardcourt at the 2019 Davis Cup semifinals.
“Obviously I’m expecting a long and tough battle,” Shapovalov said. “He’s a great player, Karen. He’s definitely proven himself time and time again that he’s able to beat top guys and play really well.”