Doubles delight as Canadians reach Davis Cup decider
CANADA will meet Australia in the 2022 Davis Cup Final after fighting through its semi-final against Italy overnight. Once again the incredible form of Felix Auger-Aliassime held up, with the rising star winning both his singles, and doubles alongside Vasek Pospisil, to sink the Italians for a 2-1 victory in Malaga.
The Canadian success did not start off as planned, with Denis Shapovalov‘s shaky form continuing into the final four match, going down in a three-hour epic nail-biter to Lorenzo Sonego. Though Shapovalov was fancied to take the win and Canada salute in both singles, Sonego won the first set in a tiebreaker 7-4, then brought it to a second tiebreaker in the next set.
Luckily the Canadian did manage to steady and win that one 7-5, but it only proved to be a false dawn. A critical break in the deciding third set to Sonego ensured the Italians got off on the right note and took a 1-0 lead to start the tie.
Yet again it was up to Auger-Aliassime to save the tie from defeat, with the Canadian young gun taking on fellow rising star Lorenzo Musetti in the number one singles match. With the Italians not able to use their top two singles players in Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner, Musetti would have to punch above his ranking. He certainly did that in spurts, but Auger-Aliassime proved too consistent, throwing down 12 aces to three and breaking his opponent twice during the 6-3 6-4 win in an hour and 25 minutes.
Auger-Aliassime then jumped back on the court alongside Pospisil up against Fabio Fognini, and in a surprise move, Berrettini. The Italians opted to bring in the talented singles star to team up with Fognini over doubles specialist Simone Bolelli – who was not 100 per cent to play – to add some extra power to the serving aspect and cancel out Auger-Aliassime advantage.
Though the match was another nail-biter that went two hours and two minutes, it would be the Canadians who emerged victorious, winning 7-6 7-5, and advancing through to the 2022 Davis Cup Final. It was neck-and-neck for the most part, and Italy had its chances, but Auger-Aliassime dug deep and guided his nation over the line and into the tournament decider.
“We knew we could make changes if we needed to. The whole team have connected around this idea – the main goal of lifting the cup tomorrow, there are no egos, and it’s a great feeling,” Auger-Aliassime said post-match.