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Canada Clinches Davis Cup Semifinal Spot vs. Italy

By Alberto Amalfi | Thursday, November 24, 2022

Canada played catch-up to edge Germany—and continue its quest to collect a maiden Davis Cup.

Veteran Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov rallied past Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to clinch Canada's 2-1 victory over Germany in a thrilling doubles duel in Malaga, Spain.

More: Nick Bollettieri Tribute

The victory vaults Canada into its fourth Davis Cup semifinal where it will face Italy.

Earlier, Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini defeated Tommy Paul and Jack Sock 6-4, 6-4 to seal Italy's 2-1 victory over the United States. 

Canada, which was runner-up to host Spain in the 2019 Davis Cup Final staged in Madrid, is intent on capturing its first Davis Cup in history.

"It feels amazing," Pospisil said. "Obviously we have had some nice taste of success in Davis Cup in previous years and made the final in 2019. So we are obviously hungry to kind of experience that again and go, you know, one further. Obviously that's the thing we'd all love to do at some stage in our careers.

"We're definitely looking for that title this week, it's what we want, but obviously every match is so tough."

Felix Auger-Aliassime fired 15 aces and won 31 of 35 first-serve points defeating Oscar Otte 7-6(1), 6-4 to level Canada with Germany after two matches and set the stage for the decisive doubles.

"Felix came out, played amazing to keep us alive, and it's never easy coming back from a match that you just lost as well to, you know, come back with and want to finish out the tie with a win," Canadian captain Frank Dancevic said. "Vasek, with his experience, a veteran on the team, I think he's a huge key to our success, as well. These guys, they have great energy. When they find the energy in the matches, I feel so confident they can beat any team in the world.

"It was amazing to watch. They showed so much heart going in the match, and again, in the beginning of the match, it was tough to find the rhythm. But once they found the rhythm and once they got in the groove, they played lights out. They played amazing. Took control of the match."

Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff opened today's play stopping Shapovalov 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2) to stake Germany to a 1-0 lead.

Shapovalov shook off that stinging defeat to partner Pospisil to the clinching victory.

"Struff is an opponent that I have struggled with in the past. He plays big for big matches," Shapovalov said. "Yeah, I was struggling a little bit with the timing, with my serve in the match. It's first match in a couple weeks for me, as well.

"I think in general, I mean, it was a good fight for me. I think the level was pretty high a lot of moments in the match, and, yeah, it definitely sucks to not get that win for the team. You know, it's tough.

"But luckily we have Felix, as well, who is, you know, who brought us back alive and gave us a chance to play for the doubles. Huge credits to Felix."

Photo credit: Getty