Canadian tennis fans may have been disappointed that Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., lost the men's title, but they were cheering as Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., lifted the Wimbledon boys' trophy just steps away on the No. 1 Court earlier Sunday.
The 17-year-old Canadian clinched the junior men's singles title at the All England Club, defeating seventh-seeded Australian Alex De Minaur 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. Firing back after losing the first set, Shapovalov dominated the court, out-speeding his opponent with serves as fast as 126 miles an hour to win the next two sets.
Shapovalov, who is Canada's top-seeded under-18 player and ranked fifth in the world, previously knocked out world No. 1 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the semi-final.
Shapovalov became only the third Canadian to secure a Grand Slam singles title as a junior. Vancouver's Filip Peliwo previously secured wins at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2012, while Eugenie Bouchard brought home the girls' Wimbledon title in the same year.
Born in Tel Aviv, the young talent began his career early, at the age of 5. His mother Tessa Shapovalova, a former professional tennis player and now coach, eventually started the TessaTennis program in Vaughan, Ont., to allow her son a home base to train at.
Since Shapovalov was 13, he has been coached by Adriano Fuorivia, a strategist who seems to have brought out the best in the young player, who landed himself a spot in the junior singles semi-finals at the French Open earlier this year.
Shapovalov was unable to win Sunday's 2016 junior men's doubles title alongside compatriot Félix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal, who cheered his doubles partner from the court-side at his final. Auger-Aliassime had lost to De Minaur in the boys' singles quarter-finals.
Together, the duo were seeking their second junior Grand Slam title, becoming the first Canadians to bring home a Wimbledon junior men's doubles title since 1990. They previously made history as the first all-Canadian pair in 25 years to win an under-18 major title at the U.S. Open last year, and the first Canadians to lift the junior Davis Cup in 2015.
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