Canada reaches Davis Cup semifinals with a 2-1 win over Germany ” Alaska

MÁLAGA, Spain – Denis Shapovalov overcame defeat in the opening singles match to join Vasek Pospisil in a crucial double as Canada advanced to the Davis Cup semifinals with a 2-1 win over Germany on Thursday.

MÁLAGA, Spain – Denis Shapovalov overcame defeat in the opening singles match to join Vasek Pospisil in a crucial double as Canada advanced to the Davis Cup semifinals with a 2-1 win over Germany on Thursday.

Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ontario and Pospisil of Vernon, BC looked overwhelmed in the first set against doubles specialists Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz before turning the tables for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 win.

Shapovalov stopped the tie as his return to match point gave the Canadians their third break of the game.

“Having Vasek is incredible. You know, not only is he incredible for singles, but he’s so credited for doubles,” Shapovalov said.

“He’s done so well in the past and has proven time and time again why he’s such a great player. It was fun sharing the space and getting each other excited. It was definitely great to get the win for Canada. “

Germany had taken a 1-0 lead in the quarterfinals when Jan-Lennard Struff beat Shapovalov 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (2) in singles.

Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, ranked No. 6 in the world, defeated Oscar Otte 7-6 (1), 6-4 to set up the dramatic doubles final.

Canada meets Italy in the semifinals on Saturday. Italy prevailed with a 2-1 win over the USA.

Australia meets Croatia in the other semi-final. The final is on Sunday.

Canada is aiming to reach the Davis Cup finals for the second time in four years. A Canadian squad featuring Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime and Pospisil reached the 2019 final where they lost 2-0 to Spain.

Germany appeared to be in control after winning a singles game and forcing a decision in doubles. Pütz went into the Davis Cup doubles 12-0, while Krawietz was 11-0.

The experienced German tandem took on the Canadians early on. Germany broke early as Pospisil took a 2-1 lead in the first set and scored another goal to go 5-2 when Pospisil committed a double fault. The Germans then completed an easy grab to win the set.

But Pospisil and Shapovalov played with significantly more energy in the second set, going 3-1 at break after crucially holding Pospisil’s serve in the previous game.

The Canadians took a 5-2 lead after a nervous hold, with Pospisil parrying the break point and digging Canada out of a hole with two consecutive aces. After a German hold, Shapovalov served for the set and made up the second after a double fault at the first set point.

The result of the second set had clearly set the Canadians on fire and showed that they love taking a 2-1 lead in the third with an impressive break.

His serve buzzed, Pospisil firing three straight aces as Canada held to take a 5-3 lead. Then Shapovalov hit back forcefully after a serve from Puetz when Germany served with a double match point, sending Canada through.

“They have increased their level incredibly,” said Germany’s captain Michael Kohlmann. “Great served. We couldn’t create any chances. In the end we have to say that the Canadians played better than us and deservedly won.”

Shapovalov showed a remarkable return to his form in doubles after a wildly inconsistent singles game in which he alternately looked like a world champion and a rookie with no confidence – sometimes in the same game.

Struff went into the tie as number 152 in the world rankings, 124 places behind his opponent. But he had a career-best 29 in 2020 before being hampered by injuries, including a recent foot condition that sidelined him for two months.

He looked strong in the first set, with long serves from the 1.80m German Shapovalov causing problems.

Struff got the set with his second break of the match. Shapovalov’s fifth double fault of the game gave Struff the double set point. The Canadian saved the first set point, but Shapovalov’s seventh unforced error, a routine forehand hit wide, sealed his fate.

Shapovalov missed an opportunity early in the second set when he ended a volley by hitting wide at break point. Struff recovered, held and took a 2-1 lead in the set.

However, the Canadian continued to pressure Struff and found himself at 30-30 in every reception game. He eventually broke through with a break to take a 4-3 lead, beating Struff at the net.

After both players saved, Shapovalov tied the 1-1 tie on his second set point with his 10th ace of the game.

Shapovalov’s service problems returned in the third set as he hit two double faults to put Struff 3-1 ahead. Shapovalov fought back to break with Struff, who served for the match, but ran out of magic in the ensuing tiebreak.

Struff improved to 6: 3 in his career against Shapovalov.

Auger-Aliassime held his strong serve early in the game, firing three aces in game three alone to take a 2-1 lead. He held all his service games and faced just one break point.

Otte would not walk quietly. Despite not being as dominant on serve as Auger-Aliassime, he still fended off three break points and denied Auger-Aliassime an opportunity to open the game.

Auger-Aliassime eventually broke Otte and demonstrated his quality by dominating the first set tiebreak. The Canadian set up the set point by winning points on three of Otte’s four serves and put the set away with his ninth ace.

The Canadian got a break to take a 4-3 lead in the set and that was all it took. Auger-Aliassime served with love in the last game and set up the match point with his 15th ace.

“I felt like once the ball was in play and I could engineer the rallies, I won more rallies than he did,” Auger-Aliassime said. “He’s at the top, I don’t know, 50 or something like that, so any player in that ranking can be dangerous on any given day. I had to be careful and I had to stay sharp.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published in November. 24th, 2022.

The Canadian Press