Today, the men's singles quarterfinals will be held at probably the world's most prestigious tennis tournament.
And for the first time ever, two of the last eight players are Canadian: Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime. It's a sign of just how far tennis in Canada has come in a really short period of time. When Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard became Top 5 ranked men's and women's players between 2014 and 2016, it had never happened before. Their achievements were unique in the country's history.
But now—with Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime, Vasek Pospisil, Bianca Andreescu, Leylah Fernandez, Francoise Abanda—Canada is a legitimate force in the sport. In fact, Canada is tied with Russia and Spain for the most players (three) ranked inside the Men's Top 25. Whoa!
Which brings us to today's Wimbledon quarterfinals.
Shapovalov will face heavy hitting Russian Karen Khachanov. Khachanov is very tall—6 foot 6 inches—and has the kind of power that can be scary on Wimbledon's grass courts, where the ball already travels very quickly. Whack!
But Shapo is feeling good about his game right now. In his previous two rounds, he easily defeated world number eight player Roberto Bautista Agut and two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray. Shapovalov also beat Khachanov the only time they've played before.
As for Auger-Aliassime, his task is tougher. He'll be up against Italian player Matteo Berrettini. Berrettini just won the last tournament he played—the Queen's Club which is also played on grass like Wimbledon. But Auger-Aliassime won't be afraid of a challenge. In his last match, he beat one of the best players in the world, Germany's Alexander Zverev. Bring on the match!
Dates with legends?
Should one or both of these Canadians get through their challenges, something very exciting may be waiting for them. The chance to each play one of the greatest players of all time in a semi final! That's because both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are playing in the two other Wimbledon quarterfinals. How good are they? Between the two of them, they've won the tournament 13 times! In other words, really good!
So ... if Denis, Novak, Felix, and Roger all win, the semis would be Djokovic versus Shapovalov and Federer versus Auger Aliassime. Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Yes, yes we are. But who can resist such a record-setting scene?
Good luck to both Denis and Felix!