Sportsmanship was on display in its purest form on Monday night as Denis Shapovalov consoled his fellow Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime on court, after the latter was forced to retire from their US Open first round with a heart issue.
After splitting the first two sets, Shapovalov went up 4-1 before Auger-Aliassime had to stop. The 18-year-old qualifier was in tears as his good friend hugged him and walked over to his bench with him.
Shapovalov admits it was “tough” seeing his friend end the match like that, but he’s certain Auger-Aliassime has a bright future ahead of him.
“I told him at the net we’re going to be back here and we’re going to have so many of these,” revealed the 19-year-old Shapovalov.
“That you’ll be back and we’ll be playing finals here. All good brother.”
It was a very moving moment between the two up-and-comers and a great sign of what’s to come from this younger generation of players.
— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) August 27, 2018
PROPS TO WARRIOR FERRU
The emotional night continued as David Ferrer played the final Grand Slam match of his career, but also had to retire during the match, against Rafael Nadal, with a calf problem.
“It was special because I finish my last Grand Slam playing in the center court with Rafael Nadal, because he’s a very good friend. Well, sad because I can’t finish the match. Is not a problem. I am a lucky man,” said Ferrer.
Tributes for the Spaniard came pouring in, with Roger Federer tweeting: “Ultimate respect for road warrior @DavidFerrer87.”
Feliciano Lopez retweeted Federer’s post and added: “Every single word I subscribe. Amen.”
Ultimate sign of respect is pointing at a guy and saying “that’s how I’d want my children to go about their job someday.” That’s @DavidFerrer87 for me. Absolutely brought it every single day. Congrats amigo!!
— andyroddick (@andyroddick) August 28, 2018
.@DavidFerrer87 , you’re an absolute legend who gave it all every single second of every single day. Congrats on an AMAZING career
— John Isner (@JohnIsner) August 28, 2018
@DavidFerrer87 I still remember the first time I met https://t.co/2T51ONAUIW were warming up on a treadmill and I just finished my match at the Australian open and I started doing my cool down run next to you. Your run took longer then my match .
— Kim Clijsters (@Clijsterskim) August 28, 2018
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) August 28, 2018
— Lucas Pouille (@la_pouille) August 28, 2018
SINCE HE’S BEEN GONE
The night session on Arthur Ashe stadium kicked off with a brilliant performance from pop star Kelly Clarkson, whose song “Stronger”, with the lyrics “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, felt like an apt prelude to Serena Williams’ first round match that followed Clarkson’s medley of hits.
While Clarkson was performing, Kevin Anderson was in a gruelling five-setter against Ryan Harrison. When the 2017 runner-up got through it, his wife Kelsey revealed his immediate first thought.
“@KAndersonATP grinds out a grueling 5 setter to reach round 2 of the US Open… His thoughts after the match? “I can’t believe I missed @kelly_clarkson!”
We can’t believe it either, Kevin!
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