Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger Aliassime headline a strong line-up at the Davis Cup Finals - UBITENNIS
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Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger Aliassime headline a strong line-up at the Davis Cup Finals

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The eight best teams will compete in the 2022 Davis Cup by Rakuten Knock-out stage in Malaga from 22 to 27 November. 

 

Malaga is the new home of the Davis Cup Finals after the previous two editions held in Madrid in 2019 and 2021. The quarter finals start on Tuesday with the match between Australia and the Netherlands. 

Two top ten players Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger Aliassime will headline the strong line-up.

Australia against the Netherlands – 22nd November 

The Netherlands won the Group D last September in Glasgow. Botic Van de Zandschulp led the Dutch team by winning all of his three of his singles matches, including straight set victories against Cameron Norrie, Alexander Bublik and Taylor Fritz. Van de Zandschulp beat Diego Schwartzman in five sets at the US Open in 2021 to reach his first quarter final at Grand Slam level. He then lost to eventual US Open champion Danil Medvedev. He was the only player to take a set off Medvedev during the tournament. This year Van de Zandschulp reached the first ATP 500 semifinal of his career at Queen’s Club in London and advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon. The Dutch team also features Wesley Koolhof, who is part of the world number 1 doubles team alongside Neal Skupski. The Netherlands is one of the two teams at this year’s Finals, along with Canada, that has never won a Davis Cup title. 

The Dutch team will face Group B runners-up Australia in the Group B. The Australian team led by Lleyton Hewitt beat Belgium and France during the Group stage, but lost to Germany in Hamburg last September. Everyone in the five-man Aussie team with at least one win. De Minaur scored two singles wins against Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi and Belgian David Goffin and has won eight of his last nine singles Davis Cup matches. Australia is chasing its first Davis Cup title since 2003. 

The Australian doubles team will be formed by Max Purcell and Matthew Ebden, who won the Wimbledon title and reached the Australian Open final.

Croatia vs Spain 23rd November

This year’s US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz and 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal will not play, but the Spanish team captained by Serg Bruguera will feature 2019 Davis Cup champion Roberto Bautista Agut, Pablo Carreno Busta, Albert Ramos Vinolas, Pedro Martinez and Marcel Granollers. Alcaraz has been forced to withdraw from the match due to an injury. 

Bautista Agut was the only player to win three points for the Spanish team in Group B in Valencia against South Korea’s Seong Chen Hong, Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic and Canada’s Vasek Pospisil last September. 

Spain will take on Croatia in a blockbuster quarter final match. Croatia, the highest ranked nation in Davis Cup and last year’s Davis Cup finalists, beat Argentina (3-0) and Sweden (2-1) in Group A in Bologna last September. This year’s Cincinnati Masters 1000 champion Borna Coric scored two singles wins against Mikael Ymer and Francisco Cerundolo.

Croatia will feature 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, Borna Coric, Borna Gojo and the doubles team formed by Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, who reached the championships match at last week’s Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. Cilic won the Davis Cup title in 2018.

Spain has won all three previous ties against Croatia. 

The winner of the match between Australia and the Netherlands will take on either Croatia or Spain in the semifinal. 

Italy vs USA 24th November

The Italian team captained by Filippo Volandri won Group A in Bologna and will be one of the teams to beat in the Knock-out stage in Malaga despite the absence of 2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini and four-time Grand Slam quarter finalist Jannik Sinner. The hopes of the Italian team are carried by Lorenzo Musetti, Lorenzo Sonego and the experienced doubles team formed by Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli, who have each played 28 Davis Cup matches. Musetti enjoyed his breakthrough season in 2022 winning two titles in Hamburg and Neaples and reaching his first Masters 1000 quarter final in Paris Bercy after beating Casper Ruud in the third round.

The US team finished second in group stage after wins over Great Britain and Kazakhstan and a defeat against the Netherlands. Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock scored two doubles wins against Great Britain and the Netherlands. The US team captained by Mardy Fish features Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul and doubles specialist Jack Sock.  Fritz won his first Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells and Tokyo beating Tiafoe in the final and reached the semifinals at last week’s ATP Tour Finals in Turin. Tiafoe reached the semifinals at the US Open. Paul beat Rafael Nadal to advance to the quarter final at the Paris Bercy Masters 1000.

Germany vs Canada 24th November

Germany won Group C in Hamburg after winning all three ties in Hamburg against France, Australia and Belgium. Jan  Lennard Struff won all of his three singles matches. Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz scored four wins together at the 2021 Davis Cup finals and won all three of their decisive matches at the Group Stage last September. 

Canada beat Spain 2-1 in a decisive Group stage tie with wins scored by Felix Auger Aliassime over Carlos Alcaraz (6-7 6-4 6-4) and the doubles team formed by Auger Aliassime and Vasek Pospisil over Marcel Granollers and Pedro Martinez (4-6 6-4 7-5). 

Canada will feature both Auger Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov for the first time since the 2019 Davis Cup final, when the team led by Frank Dancevic finished runner-up to a strong Spanish team led by Rafael Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut. 

Auger Aliassime won four ATP titles this year in Rotterdam, Florence, Antwerp and Basel. Shapovalov finished runner-up to Danil Medvedev in the Vienna ATP 500 final.

The winner of the match between Italy and the USA will clash against either Germany or Canada in the second semifinal.  

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Novak Djokovic starts the 2023 season in Adelaide

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Novak Djokovic will open his 2023 season in Adelaide. Djokovic ended the 2022 season with five titles at Rome Masters 1000, Wimbedon, Astana, Tel Aviv and at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. 

 

Djokovic will also play in the exhibition tournament “World Tennis League) in Dubai from 19 to 24 December, where the Serbian player will team up with Grigor Dimitrov, Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa for the Falcons team. 

In the first week of January Djokovic will warm up for the Australian Open at the ATP 250 tournament in Adelaide from 2 to 8 January. The 21-time Grand Slam champion won nine Australian Open titles in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021 but he was not able to play in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season last January due to his Covid vaccination status. 

Djokovic joins a star-studded field that already features 2021 US Open champion Danil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner and two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray.

Murray will play for the first time in his career in Adelaide. 

“I will be starting the year in Australia, which I always really enjoy. Playing at the Adelaide International for the first time is something I am looking forward to”, said Murray. 

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(VIDEO) Ubaldo Scanagatta On A Week To Remember For Canada At The Davis Cup

The CEO of Ubitennis also shares his view about the format of the tournament and how he thinks it can be improved.

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MALAGA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 27: Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2022 at Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena on November 27, 2022 in Malaga, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado/ Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis)

Canada has become the 16th nation to win the Davis Cup after producing a clinical performance against Australia in the final on Sunday. Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime both eased through their matches in straight sets to claim an historic victory for their country.

 

Watching the matches unfold from the sidelines was Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta who gives his verdict on events that has taken place in Malaga over the past week.

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Felix Auger Aliassime helps Canada reach the Davis Cup Final

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Canada reached the Davis Cup final for the second time in three years after beating Italy 2-1 in the semifinal in Malaga. 

 

Denis Shapovalov beat Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 in the opening match.

Felix Auger Aliassime earned a 6-3 6-4 win over Lorenzo Musetti to draw level to 1-1 before teaming up with Vasek Pospisil to defeat Fabio Fognini and Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-2) 7-5. 

Sonego beats Shapovalov 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4

Lorenzo Sonego battled past Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 after 3 hours and 14 minutes to give Italy the 1-0 point in the opening singles match of the Davis Cup Finals by Rakuten in Malaga. 

Shapovalov hit five aces, made seven double faults and converted just one of his 13 break points. Sonego fired seven aces, made three double faults and converted one of his four break points. 

Shapovalov won the first nine points of the match to take a 2-0 lead with a break in the opening game. Sonego won three consecutive games to take a 3-2 lead with a break-back in the fifth game. Shapovalov saved two break points in the sixth game to hold serve at deuce for 3-3. Sonego fended off two break points in the seventh game for 4-3. Sonego earned two mini-breaks on the second and sixth points to race to a 5-1 lead. Shapovalov clawed his way back by winning three points for 4-5. Sonego earned two mini-breaks to seal the tie-break 7-4, when Shapovalov sent a forehand long after 1 hour and 10 minutes

The second set went on serve until the 10th game, when Shapovalov earned three consecutive set points at 4-5 0-40 on Sonego’s serve. The Italian player saved five set points to hold serve at deuce for 5-5 and sent the second set to the tie-break. 

Sonego won four consecutive points from 1-2 down to take a 5-2 lead in the tie-break. Sonego missed a drive volley to set up a match point. Shapovalov won his fifth consecutive point to seal the second set to send the match to the decider. 

Shapovalov saved two break points in the first game of the third set. The Canadian player made three double faults but he held serve at deuce without facing any break points. Shapovalov saved a break point in the sixth game with an ace. Sonego fended off three break points at 3-3 in the seventh game to hold serve after three deuces before Shapovalov received treatment for a back issue. 

Sonego earned the decisive break in the 10th game to close out the match after Shapovalov made three double faults. 

Sonego has drawn level to 1-1 in his two head-to-head matches against Shapovalov, who beat the Italian player 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-3 in the Rome Masters 1000 tournament. 

“It’s an unbelievable moment for me. Shapovalov fights non-stop. I had to be focused on every point and I needed the help of all my team. This is just a great moment for Italy. It was really tough to remain focused because I lost the tie-break in the second set, but I was really positive and my captain helped me a lot to do my best to stay in the match and I enjoy the match until the last moment for me. It was a really tight match and a big win and a big win. It was an amazing win for me and for my team”, said Sonego. 

Auger Aliassime beats Musetti 6-3 6-4 

In the second singles match Felix Auger Aliassime beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-3 6-4 converting a break point late in both sets to send the tie to the decivive doubles clash. Auger Aliassime did not face a break point and won all but three of his first serve points. 

Auger Aliassime earned his first break in the sixth game to open up a 5-2 lead and held his next service games to seal the first set 6-3 with an ace after 39 minutes. 

Musetti held his serve after three deuces to hold serve in the first game of the second set. Both players held serve until 4-4. Musetti saved the first break point in the ninth game with a service winner, but Auger Aliassime converted his second chance with a down the line winner. Musetti went up a 0-30 lead on Auger Aliassime’s serve in the 10th game, but the Canadian player hit three service winners to serve out the match 6-4 keeping Canada’s hopes of reaching the final alive. 

Auger Aliassime now leads 3-2 in his five head-to-head matches against Musetti. 

“It’s sad, because it’s the second time in a row that I have the chance to bring Italy to the final. I played until the last point, and Felix played better than me. he deserved to win”, said Musetti. 

Canada beats Italy 7-6 (7-5) 7-2

Canadian captain Frank Dancevic made a late change to the doubles line-up, calling up Auger Aliassime to team up with Vasek Pospisil. 

Berrettini and Fognini converted their second break point in the third game to take a 3-1 lead. Auger Aliassime and Pospisil broke back on their third opportunity in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Both teams went on serve setting up a tie-break. Auger Aliassime earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Berrettini and Fognini went up a break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Auger Aliassime and Pospisil broke back in the third game after two double faults from Fognini to draw level to 2-2. Both players went on serve until the 11th game when Auger Aliassime and Pospisil earned the decisive break on their third opportunity to take a 6-5 lead. The Italian team wasted two break-back points at 5-6 in the 12thgame.  Auger Aliassime delivered two first serves to get to deuce with an ace and a winner and won the final four points to secure their spot in the final. 

Felix Auger Aliassime: “That’s the good thing about having many good players on the team. I feel like Denis and Vasek played really well yesterday to come back and win, but Denis had a long match, and we knew coming this week that we could make some changes depending on how singles went. I feel like the whole team connected around this idea and there was no ego in the wrong place. Everybody just has the clear idea of the main goal, which is lifting the cup tomorrow”. 

Canada improved their lead against Italy to 3-0 in the three head-to-head matches after wins in 2013 and 2019. 

Canada is one win away from a historic first Davis Cup title.  

Canada set up a final against Australia, who reached the Davis Cup final for the first time in 19 years after a 2-1 win over Croatia on Friday. 

Australia holds a 9-1 lead against Canada. Howevr the Canadian team earned a win in their last match at the 2019 Davis Cup match. 

Auger Aliassime and Shapovalov lost to Rafael Nadal and Felix Auger Aliassime in the Davis Cup final in Madrid in 2019. 

“Making the finals is always an amazing feeling, and I really believe in the team. We have done it before. We are here again and I believe we can win this, so we are going to go after it tomorrow and give it all we have got”, said Frank Dancevic.

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