Canada Shocks Spain To Earn Second Group Stage Win At Davis Cup Finals

Team Canada (photo: Manuel Queimadelos / Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis)

VALENCIA, September 17, 2022 (Tennis Canada Press Release)

Team Canada presented by Sobeys remains undefeated in the group stage of the 2022 Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals after conquering the home team Spain 2-1 on Friday. In their first tie, the Canadian team beat the Republic of Korea 2-1 with a pair of wins from Vasek Pospisil (Vernon, BC) in singles and doubles (alongside Felix Auger-Aliassime (Montreal, QC)). Their roles were reversed tonight, as Auger-Aliassime played hero – winning both his singles and doubles rubbers.

Pospisil kicked off Friday’s action for Team Canada as they faced 2019 champions Spain. He took on Roberto Bautista Agut in what was a fifth meeting between the players. Heading into today’s contest, Pospisil trailed their head-to-head 3-1, however, he won their most recent encounter at the 2020 US Open. Despite battling from beginning to end, Pospisil couldn’t make it two in a row against Bautista Agut, dropping the two-hour and 11-minute contest 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. The Vernon native had an outstanding first set but couldn’t quite keep that level of play up in the second. In the decider, Bautista Agut was the more consistent of the two and would break Pospisil in the fifth and ninth games to clinch the first rubber for Spain.

“I think especially the beginning of the second set when I got broken, I hardly made any first serves. That really cost me,” Pospisil said in his post-match press conference. “Then I actually felt like I was, other than the beginning of the second set, really feeling quite good when I was dialed in. Even the beginning of the third set actually up until two-all, I was feeling pretty confident, I have to say. I was hitting the ball really well. I felt that I had the solutions in my game to win the match.”

Looking to tie things up, Canada’s Auger-Aliassime faced the newly crowned world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz in the second match of the day. The two youngsters previously played each other at the 2021 US Open – Alcaraz having to retire from that contest down 6-3, 3-1 in the second set. Today, Auger-Aliassime and Alcaraz needed all three sets to determine a winner, as the nearly three-hour battle eventually went the way of the Canadian, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-2. After dropping the first set in a tiebreak, Auger-Aliassime didn’t let up and continued to play a fantastic match against the top-ranked men’s player. He finished the contest with 16 aces and only one double fault. He also converted 3/6 break points and turned aside the seven break-point opportunities he faced.

Just like Team Canada’s matchup on Tuesday against the South Koreans, today’s winner was going to be determined in the last rubber of the day – the deciding doubles match. Once again, Team Canada captain Frank Dancevic sent out his top two players, Auger-Aliassime and Pospisil, to take on Spain’s Marcel Granollers-Pujol and Pedro Martinez. The Canadian duo got off to a slow start, dropping their opening service game and failing to get a break point chance in the first set. They regrouped in the second set and broke their opponents in the 10th game to send the match to a third set. Despite trailing 5-3, Auger-Aliassime and Pospisil managed to mount a remarkable comeback, winning four consecutive games to clinch the tie over the Spaniards. They played so well in clutch moments, converting all three of their break-point chances – one of which was a set point and the other a match point.

The Canadian Davis Cup team’s next Group B tie is against Serbia on Saturday (10:00 a.m. Eastern). With a win against the Serbians, Team Canada will clinch their spot in the knock-out stage of the Finals in November.