Friday, December 2, 2022

The double Shapovalov-Pospisil opens the door of the semifinals to Canada

Germans Tim Puetz Y kevin krawietzundefeated in the Davis and who had eight straight victories as a couple, lost their immaculate condition at the most inopportune moment, at the decisive point of the quarterfinal tie against Canadateam that qualified for the semifinals with the victory of Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov by 2-6, 6-3 and 6-3.

The The result was 2-1 for the maple leaf team, that he has never won the Davis Cup and that on Saturday he will face Italy for a place in the final.

Shapovalov was the protagonist of the tie through thick and thin, first by losing his individual match to Jan-Lennard Struff, a dangerous player on hard courts but currently lost in 152nd place in the standings (the Canadian is 18th). , and then by offering his best face in the decisive moments of the doubles clash.

In the decisive match, the Canadians gave up serve twice in the first set, in Pospisil’s turn, although it was Shapovalov’s hasty movements at the net that decided the result.

The North American couple was the first to break in the second set, 3-1, on Krawietz’s service, when the hour of play was about to expire. The Germans had a single opportunity to recover it, which they did not ratify.

The Canadian victory took definitive shape with a new assignment of Krawietz’s serve (2-1). But The Canadian duo did not stop there: with 5-3, an exceptional return from Shapovalov led to a 0-40 that was irretrievable for the hitherto unbeaten Germans.

Before, to open the tie, Struff gave Germany the first point by beating Shapovalov 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (2). On a track made to measure for its ultra-fast surface, the German endured the ups and downs of his rival’s game and mood, who broke a racket angry at his own mistakes and stirred up the stands.

In the tiebreaker of the third the initiative was always Struff, who signed four points in a row and closed the game.

Then Felix Auger-Aliassime, the player with the best ranking, 6th, of all those who compete in the final phase in Malaga, jumped onto the field, but who defeated the German Oscar Otte with more difficulties than necessary by 7-6 (1) and 6-4. She thus left the tie at 1-1.

The Canadian began his clash insecure, knowing that he could not lose, and until the tiebreaker game he failed to tilt the racket of the world number 65, whom he had already beaten once, this year in Florence.

In the tie-break they showed themselves to be truly superior and this was reflected in the final 7-1.

This did not make him win regularly and only in the seventh game did he break Otte’s serve for the first time, who made his debut this season in Davis and has not yet won a game in this competition.

the canadian confirmed the bankruptcy with great difficultiesbut he already closed the match with a clean game on his next service.

“Any player around the top 50 can be dangerous at any given time,” he commented afterwards, after thanking his team for their support: “I was on the track, but it was everyone’s business.”

Germany and Canada had never met in Davis Cup, which the Germans have won three times, the last in 1993, and the Canadians none.

Absence due to injury Alexander Zverev placed the Germans as the team with the worst prospects in this final phase, the only one without any player in the top 60 in the world.

After the matches this Thursday, Australia against Croatia on Friday, and Italy against Canada on Saturday, will be the semifinals of Davis 2022.

Australia, who knocked out the Netherlands, are bidding for their 29th title. He had not reached the semifinals since 2017 and he has not won the Salad Bowl since 2003.

Croatia, the leading team in the Davis world ranking and responsible for Spain’s farewell, is the current runner-up and was the winner in 2018, the last year with the previous format of matches alternately away and at home. It has two titles.

Italy, which defeated the United States in the quarterfinals, has only raised one salad bowl, in 1976, and since 2014 it has not played in the semifinals.

Canada was the last team to secure qualification against Germany.

The good news for the organizers was one more day the number of attendees at the Martín Carpena Sports Palace: the 9,486 on Wednesday when Spain played were not reached, but the 7,956 on Tuesday were exceeded and 8,786 spectators were registered in the morning tie and 8,243 at night, on the only day with a double session.

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