Optimism high for Canada entering Davis Cup Finals: ‘We have a chance to win it’

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov will be team members again on the international tennis stage as Canada prepares to compete in the 2022 Davis Cup Final from Malaga, Spain.

The event will conclude a grueling 10-month tennis calendar in which players from eight different countries compete in a team-versus-team format, culminating in a champion on Sunday.

With rising superstar Auger-Aliassime, current world No. 6, top-20 talent Shapovalov and two-time grand slam champion Vasek Pospisil on the roster, optimism for Canada’s chances is at an all-time high.

“This is an incredibly strong team and we have a chance to win it,” says team captain Frank Dancevic.

Canada takes on the world in the Davis Cup final

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov report that the Canadian team competing in the 2022 Davis Cup Final in Malaga, Spain wants to bring home the cup for the first time. Sportsnet and SN NOW will have full coverage of the tournament beginning with Canada’s quarter-final match against Germany on Nov. 24 at 10:00 a.m. ET/ 7:00 a.m. PT.

.acf-block-preview .br-snippet { display: grid; grid-template-columns: 200px 1fr; padding: 20px; width: 100%; margin: 0 auto; padding: 16px; border: 1px solid #CECECE; background-color: #FFF; border-radius: 4px; } .acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info a { text-decoration: none; } .acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-title { color: #343434; font-family: ‘roboto’; font-size: 20px; font-weight: 600; line-height: 22px; margin-bottom: 10px; top: -3px; } .acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-body { color: #343434; font-family: ‘urw-din’; font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; margin-bottom: 12px; } .acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-link-title { display: inline-block; font-family: ‘urw-din’; font-size: 16px; list-style-type: none; width: auto; } .acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-link-title:not(:end-child):then { content: ‘ | ‘; color: #343434; }

Quebec’s Alexis Galarneau and Gabriel Diallo round out the five-player roster.

Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov are competing together for the first time since reaching the final in 2019, and Auger-Aliassime will be trusted as the top singles player if she has any fuel left.

The Montreal native has been one of the top contenders on the tour this fall, winning three consecutive ATP titles with wins in Florence, Antwerp and Basel.

A great stretch of tennis earned him a spot at the ATP Finals in Turin, where he earned his first career win over Rafael Nadal, before being beaten by American Taylor Fritz in a tight three-set encounter.

.acf-block-preview .instagram-twitter-container { width: 340px; margin: 0 auto; }

The excellent results also mean a heavy workload for the 22-year-old, who has played 84 games to date.

“He’s had an incredible season – now it’s all about managing his energy,” team captain Frank Dancevic said.

Auger-Aliassime has won 20 of 26 matches since the US Open.

In the meantime, Shapovalov is coming off of a hectic schedule of his own.

Despite enduring a torrid campaign from May to mid-August, losing eight out of nine matches, the surging left-hander managed to turn around and salvage the year with strong performances on indoor hard courts.

Shapovalov reached two ATP finals this fall, finishing runner-up in Korea and Vienna, relying on his punishing forehands and powerful left hand serve to dictate play.

She also has a big match pedigree, reaching the semifinals of Wimbledon a year ago and the quarterfinals at both the Australian and US Opens.

Dancevic, who has held the title of team captain since 2017, had dreams of what this team could one day achieve with a core of young talent led by two stars.

“You can’t predict the future, but they had as much potential as the young guys coming into the team,” Dancevic said. “They had some big games when they were young, but at the same time, it took a lot of work and a lot of motivation to get to where they are now.”

Pospisil, Vernon, B.C., joined to contribute as a top pairing pick

Since the retirement of legendary doubles player Daniel Nestor, Pospisil has taken over as the main veteran of this team, and the 32-year-old has shown that he still has some quality tennis to play in his career.

Pospisil recently won his 11th career ATP Challenger singles title in Drummondville, Que.

.acf-block-preview .instagram-twitter-container { width: 340px; margin: 0 auto; }

He is also the most consistent player on the Davis Cup list with 22 ties and 49 matches played.

“He’s a true leader and he’s been a rock for our team for the last five years, winning big,” Dancevic said.

Pospisil and Auger-Aliassime combined to win double rubbers over both Korea and Spain to qualify for the Canadian finals in September.

While Canada has solid depth with elite options in both singles and doubles, several teams lack the best.

Spain, without both Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal, have already been knocked out by Croatia.

Last year’s champion, the Russian Tennis Federation, was excluded from competitions this season due to the occupation of Ukraine.

Australia, while talented and dangerous, are missing Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios.

Meanwhile, Canada will be heavy favorites in their first quarter-final match against Germany.

The German team is without 2020 US Open finalist and former world No. 2 Alexander Zverev, who suffered a serious leg injury at Roland Garros earlier this year. The team’s best singles player is world number 65 Oscar Otte.

If Canada advances to the semifinals, it will face the winner of Italy and the United States.

The Italians have an interesting combination of firepower and finesse, with standout singles players Matteo Berrettini and Lorenzo Musetti.

Meanwhile, the American squad is strikingly similar to Canada’s; They feature a young top 10 in double slam champion Jack Sock, who won Wimbledon in 2014, while partnering dazzling shot putter Taylor Fritz in Francis Tiafoe and Vasek Pospisil.

For Dancevic, he has already seen his current team produce results in the 2019 finals and is confident not only in their skill set, but also in their makeup.

“We have a good mix of experience and youth – we have a great atmosphere,” said the captain. “Over the years, we’ve grown as a team and gotten to know each other better and bonded.”

Canada has reached the finals of this miraculous event twice (1913 and 2019).

The right mix of talent, pedigree and belief might just propel them to the coveted trophy in Malaga.

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper { display: grid; grid-template-columns: repeat(2, 1fr); padding: 20px; }

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper a { pointer-events: none; cursor: default; text-decoration: none; color: black; }