Canada Eliminated By Finland In Davis Cup Final 8

Frank Dancevic and Gabriel Diallo (photo: Martin Sidorjak)

MALAGA, November 22, 2023 (Tennis Canada Press Release)

On Tuesday, Team Canada presented by Sobeys ended their reign as defending Davis Cup champions after being defeated by Finland in the quarterfinal of the Davis Cup Final 8 stage at the Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martina Carpena in Malaga, Spain. Captained by Frank Dancevic, the team is composed of Félix Auger-Aliassime, Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Gabriel Diallo and Alexis Galarneau.

Raonic (No. 318) appeared in his first Davis Cup action since 2018, taking on Patrick Kaukovalta (No. 782) in the tie’s opening match. Raonic defeated Kaukovalta in vintage fashion in straight sets 6-3, 7-5, mainly utilizing his dominant serve to improve his career Davis Cup record to 19-6. Raonic came out firing in the first set, serving up 10 aces and finishing the match with 18 while winning 97% of his first serve points.

“You know, there has been a whole lot of progress over the years with it, and we have been a staple now in the World Group’s stage. We have been now at the top of it. So, seeing all that, being a part of all that, it’s something pretty incredible,” Raonic said post-match. “I think it just speaks to a lot more because it’s not the individual achievements Canadians have also had. I think it’s significant about the process and the systems that are in place throughout the country that help Canadian tennis players that want to achieve their goals to succeed.”

Diallo (No. 139) then faced Otto Virtanen (No. 171) in the tie’s second match with the ability to clinch Canada’s spot in the semi-final. Virtanen was up to the task against Diallo though, defeating him 6-4, 7-5 in straight sets. Diallo hit two aces to Virtanen’s 14, and 15 winners to his 27. With Virtanen’s win, he sent the tie to a decisive third doubles match between Galarneau and Pospisil and Harri Heliovaara and Virtanen.

With a berth in the semi-final on the line, Heliovaara and Virtanen came out strong to win the first set 7-5, saving four of five break points and hitting 17 winners to Pospisil and Galarneau’s nine. The Finnish duo continued their dominance in the second set, winning 6-3 to close out the tie, and helping Finland reach the semi-final for the first time in the country’s history.

Finland will now play the winner of Czechia and Australia in the semi-final.