Despite the defeat, Denis Shapovalov is proud of his fighting spirit

MDP Live - Despite losing to a tight result to Rafael Nadal at the 2022 Australian Open, Denis Shapovalov was proud of his fighting spirit in the quarterfinals of the Grand Slam.

The tennis player, who is appearing in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for the first time, came back after losing the first two sets to equalize before losing 3-6 in the decider.

"I'm happy with the way I was able to fight and bounce back," said Shapovalov. "I definitely found my game at the end of the third and fourth sets. The positives are getting more time at Grand Slams, getting the chance to try to find your game. Overall, it was a positive tournament for me."

The 14th seed beat world number 3 Alexander Zverev to book a quarter-final against Spaniard Nadal, but he struggled to cope with the former world number 1's intensity early in the match. He also changed strategy and showed growing maturity as a player in an attempt to bounce back in the match.

"I just changed a few things. I feel I returned a lot of balls, so I'm just trying to prepare better. Once I did that, I could really see the serve and it came back really well," added Shapovalov.

The tennis player who is now trailing head to head against Nadal by 1-4, remains frustrated with the level of play in the fifth set.

“It was a shame to lose that set. I definitely feel like I'm getting a chance with my racket. I mean, in the third, fourth and fifth sets, I felt I was the better player and had more chances. There was only one bad game for me," said Shapovalov.

The sixth seed's win means he still has a chance to win a 21st Grand Slam title of his career this week at the Australian Open. When asked about the Spanish tennis star, the Canadian was full of admiration and acknowledged how tough the 35-year-old was.

"Rafa played well in the last set. Once he broke me, he kept his service game and served really hard. He definitely puts a lot of pressure on you, returns a lot of balls and plays aggressively when he needs it. Maybe another lawal will give me a little freedom. It was definitely a tough match," said Shapovalov.

ATP Cup Results: Germany tackles, Canada advances to the semifinals

MDP Live - Felix Auger Aliassime steered Canada into the ATP Cup semifinals after thrashing world number 3 Alexander Zverev 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, his first career win over a top 5 player.

After England's 2-1 win over the US earlier at the Qudos Bank Arena, Canada knew a win over Germany would see them through to the semifinals of the 2022 ATP Cup season.

With the pressure all around, Auger Aliassime followed in Denis Shapovalov's winning footsteps by showing incredible tenacity against Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Zverev. With the win, Canada won 2-0 against Germany in Group C and will face defending champions Russia in this season's ATP Cup semifinals.

“It was incredible to beat Zverev,” Auger Aliassime exclaimed. “I played a stunning match. He's a great player and he's beaten me a few times before. So, I'm very happy to be able to complete my task today (6/1), especially for the team."

"We had a pretty tough start to the tournament a few days ago, so to finish well and make it to the semi-finals feels really special. The atmosphere is also amazing, that's why we compete."

In an entertaining match, the 21-year-old bounced back after wasting four break point opportunities at 3-3 in the second set before winning the match after 2 hours 32 minutes.

World number 12 Auger Aliassime was impressive with his serve throughout the match, including winning 76 percent of his first serve points. He maintained a high and consistent level of play in a fierce decider before going 2-4 in head to head against Zverev.

For the first time, Canada has reached the semifinals of the men's team competition. Another semifinal will bring together Poland and Spain.

In the previous match, Shapovalov gave Canada hope with a 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 win over Jan Lennard Struff.

"It's great to be back and competing," said Shapovalov. "We got a golden opportunity. There is a lot waiting for us, but we are fighting and we have fought every game. Felix inspired us in the previous games and we are just trying to give everything we can for Canada."

The match between Canada and Germany was completed when German duo Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz beat Steven Diez and Brayden Schnur 6-3, 6-4.