Davis Cup: Canada wins its first title

The final focus of this year’s men’s tennis season was in Malaga, Spain. This is where the Davis Cup final tournament ended today. Eight teams took part in the final. In addition to the hosts, there were Italians, Americans, Germans, Canadians, Dutch, Australians and Croats.

The competition started with the quarter-finals. In them, Italy, after an equal game, beat the American team 2: 1, the Canadians, also after a hard-fought game, beat Germany 2: 1, the Australians easily beat the Netherlands 2 :0 and Croatia eliminated the hosts who played without two of their biggest stars, namely Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.

Italy – USA 2:1

Lorenzo Sonego – Frances Tiafoe 6:3 7:6(7)

Lorenzo Musetti-Taylor Fritz 6:7(8) 3:6

Simone Bolelli/Fabio Fognini – Tommy Paul/Jack Sock 6:4 6:4

Canada – Germany 2:1

Denis Shapovalov – Jan – Lennard Struff 3:6 6:4 6:7(2)

Felix Auger – Aliassime – Oscar Otte 7:6(1) 6:4

Vasek Pospisil/Denis Shapalov v Kevin Krawietz/Tim Putz 2:6 6:3 6:3

Australia – Netherlands 2:0

Jordan Thompson-Tallon Griekspoor 4-6 7-5 6-3

Alex De Minaur – Botic van de Zandschulp 5:7 6:3 6:4

Croatia – Spain 2:0

Borna Coric – Roberto Bautista Agut 6:4 7:6(4)

Marin Cilic – Pablo Carreno Busta 5:7 6:3 7:6(5)

In the semi-finals, the Canadians needed three games to eliminate the Italians, and the Australians beat the Croatians, who were the favorites in this clash, by the same margin.

Canada – Italy 2:1

Denis Shapovalov – Lorenzo Sonego 6:7(4) 7:6(5) 4:6

Felix Auger – Aliassime – Lorenzo Musetti 6:3 6:4

Felix Auger – Aliassime/Vasek Pospisil – Matteo Berrerrini/Fabio Fognini 7:6(2) 7:5

Australia – Croatia 2:1

Thanasi Kokkinakis – Borna Coric 4:6 3:6

Alex De Minaur – Marin Cilic 6-2 6-2

Max Purcell/Jordan Thompson – Nikola Mektic/Mate Pavic 6:7(3) 7:5 6:4

Unfortunately, the finale was a very one-sided show. The first match was between Denis Shapovalov (18.ATP) and Thanasi Kokkinakis (95.ATP). The two tennis players have never played an official match against each other before.

The much higher ranked Canadian dominated the opener. He broke the Australian twice at the start of the game, served well himself and only gave up this advantage late in the game. Using the ball from the first set, Shapolov closed the set in 33 minutes. The second set was more balanced. Kokkinakis lost serve in game three. In the next match, with the service of the Canadian, the rival had three opportunities to make up for his losses, but he did not use them. This match was very long, nervous and exhausting. In the seventh game, the Aussie dropped a second pass which gave the opposition a 5-2 lead. In the eighth game, Shapovalov unexpectedly lost his serve, but that didn’t change the situation. Until the end of the match, the service games were won by the servers. This gave the Canadian three match points. Thanasi defended the former, but not the latter, giving Canada its first point in the final.

Felix Auger – Aliassime (6.ATP) and Alex De Minaur (24.ATP) met in the second singles match. Before this match, the two men had faced each other four times, and there we drew.

The first set began reluctantly for the top-ranked Canadian. De Minaur won his service games convincingly, and Auger – Aliassime had to defend three times before losing a pass. In the fourth game, the first break of the match had the Aussie and he didn’t use it either. The breakthrough came in the eighth game. De Minaur saved the first break chance, but not the second, and the break in favor of the Canadian became a fact. The last game of the set went to Auger – Aliassime and he got closer to victory. In the second set, the Australian had two chances to take the opposing serve from the start. He didn’t use them and on top of that he lost serve himself, which gave the Canadiens a 3-1 lead. In the sixth game, De Minaur was again very ineffective. He had another break opportunity, three to be precise, and missed them again. Both players defended their passes until the end of the game. The lead from the start of the match was sufficient, Auger – Aliassime converted the first match point on his serve and gave Canada a well-deserved triumph.

Canada – Australia 2-0

Denis Shapovalov – Thanasi Kokkinakis 6:2 6:4

Felix Auger – Aliassime – Alex De Minaur 6:3 6:4

Alec Dittman

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