After stepping into the final rounds via the again door, Canada is now headed to the Davis Cup championship tie for the second time within the final three tournaments.
Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime erased Denis Shapovalov’s defeat within the first match of Saturday’s semifinal tie towards Italy by successful his singles. The world No. 6 then teamed up in doubles with Vasek Pospisil as a late substitution to give Canada a 2-1 victory.
Canada will face Australia on Sunday (7 a.m. ET), with the successful nation taking house the long-lasting trophy and sharing the winner’s prize of $2.5 million US.
Canada misplaced its qualifying tie towards the Netherlands earlier within the 12 months and solely superior to the final rounds as a “fortunate loser” after the withdrawal of defending champion Russia from worldwide competitors.
The Canadians, led by an in-form Auger-Aliassime, then swept South Korea 3-0 and upset Spain 2-1 in group play to advance to the knockout stage and a quarter-final match towards Germany.
This would be the eleventh time Canada and Australia have met in Davis Cup, however solely the second time since 1964.
They met 9 occasions between 1914 and 1964 — with Australia successful each time. Seven of these ties had been performed in Montreal, and all however one was a 5-0 sweep for Australia within the previous five-match, best-of-five-set format.
WATCH | Auger-Aliassime, Pospisil clinch Davis Cup final berth for Canada:
But Canada received the final one, within the quarter-finals of the 2019 event in Madrid en route to an look within the final, the place the Canadians misplaced to Spain.
As Auger-Aliassime left the court docket after his 6-3, 6-4 singles victory over Italian No. 1 Lorenzo Musetti, he stated he was prepared to play doubles.
He did not know if he could be wanted. But after a 7-6, (4), 6-7 (5), 6-4, three-hour, 15-minute singles loss to Lorenzo Sonego within the day’s opening singles, throughout which he had to have his higher again handled by the Tennis Canada physio, Shapovalov did not have a lot left.
Fresher and in positive kind
He already had performed an extended three-setter in singles and one other in doubles in a win Thursday over Germany to get Canada into the semifinals.
So Dancevic substituted in Auger-Aliassime, brisker and in positive kind.
In a extra stunning transfer, Italian captain Filippo Volandri changed doubles specialist Simone Bolelli, who had teamed with Fabio Fognini to get rid of the Americans within the quarter-finals, with Matteo Berrettini.
Despite being the highest-ranked participant on the staff, Berrettini was anticipated to be a cheerleader this week. He hadn’t performed since mid-October due to a foot harm.
WATCH | Auger-Aliassime evens up Canada’s match with Italy at Davis Cup:
But Volandri alerted him Saturday that an harm to Bolelli meant he could be wanted. Berrettini tried to put together as a lot as he may, working towards twice.
It wasn’t sufficient; the Canadians overcame an early break within the second set and received 7-6 (2), 7-5 to clinch the tie.
The celebration was comparatively muted, the job nonetheless not full.
“We knew coming into this week that we may make some modifications relying on how singles went. And I simply felt like the entire staff related round this concept; there was no ego within the incorrect locations,” Auger-Aliassime stated. “Everybody simply has a transparent concept of the principle aim, which is lifting the Cup [Sunday].”
‘There is a whole lot of positives’
Auger-Aliassime proved a reliable, positive factor in singles this week.
He defeated Oscar Otte in two shut units on Thursday within the quarter-finals to even the tie at 1-1 and provides Shapovalov and Pospisil a possibility to win it.
And on Saturday towards the proficient Musetti, he got here via as soon as once more.
The 6-3, 6-4 victory took lower than 90 minutes. And as soon as once more, Auger-Aliassime was dominant on serve.
WATCH | Sonego avenges loss to Shapovalov in Rome earlier this 12 months:
He received 30-of-33 factors with his first serve, and by no means confronted a break level.
Musetti, higher-ranked than Sonego however seven years youthful, did not react as effectively to the high-stakes scenario. The 20-year-old was pressed into service because the No. 1 singles participant after each Berrettini and Jannik Sinner had to beg off due to harm.
Against an outstanding Sonego, Shapovalov may solely break as soon as in 13 alternatives. The majority of these had been saved by Sonego, not misplaced by the Canadian.
It ended with Shapovalov seemingly making an attempt a serve-volley on a second serve, just for the serve to fall feebly into the underside of the web.
It was all the time going to be a tricky ask for the 23-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont, whose ATP Tour season ended with a second-round loss to Pablo Carreno Busta on the Paris Masters again on Nov. 2.
Shapovalov is hopeful he can put the Canadians forward 1-0, as a substitute of behind, when he opens play in Sunday’s final — seemingly towards both Thanasi Kokkinakis or Jordan Thompson.
It could be his first assembly towards both participant. But the final lineup will not be identified till an hour earlier than the primary match.
“I really feel fairly good. I’m going to do the whole lot I can tomorrow to attempt to win the singles and ease the strain a bit bit for Felix and for the remainder of us,” Shapovalov stated. “I performed two powerful matches and I’ve been there in each. I simply have not been ready to get the win, however I feel I’ve been enjoying effectively. The degree is actually excessive. There is a whole lot of positives.”