Canada Wins First Group Stage Tie At Davis Cup Finals

Davis Cup (photo: Mateo Villalba / Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis)

VALENCIA, September 14, 2022 (Tennis Canada Press Release)

On Tuesday, Team Canada presented by Sobeys opened the group stage of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals with a 2-1 win over the Republic of Korea. Playing out of the Pabellón Municipal Fuente de San Luis in Valencia, Spain, the Canadians currently sit atop the Group B leaderboard.

Making his 24th career Davis Cup appearance, Vasek Pospisil (Vernon, BC) kicked off the group stage of the Finals with a big win for the Canadian team, defeating Seong Chan Hong 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(5). Despite struggling to find consistency – hitting 29 winners and 39 unforced errors – Pospisil managed to deliver in the clutch against Hong. Down 4-1 in the decider, the 32-year-old Vernon native saved a break point in the sixth game and followed it up with a break of his own in the seventh game. In the deciding tiebreaker, Pospisil made no mistake on his first match-point opportunity, sealing the opening rubber with an assertive forehand winner.

“It was, yeah, one of those matches where I’m just happy I did really well to stay composed,” Pospisil said in his post-match press conference. “I fought hard. I didn’t let it get to me, the fact that I really had to work hard and play hard to beat a player who is ranked lower but obviously is playing good tennis.”

Next up was Félix Auger-Aliassime (Montreal, QC), who took on world No. 74 Soonwoo Kwon. Unlike Pospisil, who was the first to be broken in his contest, Auger-Aliassime came out firing and broke Kwon to love in the second game. However, his lead was short-lived, as Kwon struck back in the seventh game, bringing the set back on serve.

The first set needed a tiebreak, and both players were able to cruise through their service points, up until Auger-Aliassime double faulted down 6-5 to drop the opener. Kwon rode that wave of momentum into the second set and quickly built up a 4-0 lead over the Canadian. He would clinch the match in the ninth game, winning the second rubber by a score of 7-6(5), 6-3.

With things all tied up heading into the third rubber, Team Canada captain Frank Dancevic sent out Pospisil and Auger-Aliassime as his doubles pairing to take on Ji Sung Nam and Min-Kyu Song. It was the first time that the two Canadians played together in Davis Cup action, and they did not disappoint as they secured the tie for Team Canada with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 victory over the South Korean duo. Despite trailing 3-1 in the third set, Pospisil and Auger Aliassime rallied together and won the next five games to cap off the opening day of the Davis Cup Finals in remarkable fashion.

The Canadian Davis Cup team’s next Group B tie is against the home team Spain on Friday.

Davis Cup Day 1 Results

Group A – Sweden defeated Argentina 2-1

Unipol Arena, Bologna, Italy

Elias Ymer (SWE) d. Sebastian Baez (ARG) 6-4 3-6 7-6(4)

Mikael Ymer (SWE) d. Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 6-2 6-2

Maximo Gonzalez/Horacio Zeballos (ARG) d. Andre Goransson/Elias Ymer (SWE) 3-6 6-3 6-2

Group B – Canada defeated Korea, Republic 2-1

Unipol Arena, Valencia, Spain

Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. Hong Seong Chan (KOR) 4-6 6-1 7-6(5)

Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) d. Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 7-6(5) 6-3

Felix Auger-Aliassime/Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. Nam Jisung/Song Min-Kyu (KOR) 7-5 5-7 6-3

Group C – Australia defeated Belgium 3-0

Am Rothenbaum, Hamburg, Germany

Jason Kubler (AUS) d. Zizou Bergs (BEL) 6-4 1-6 6-3

Alex de Minaur (AUS) d. David Goffin (BEL) 6-2 6-2

Matthew Ebden/Max Purcell (AUS) d. Sander Gille/Joran Vliegen (BEL) 6-1 6-3

Group D – Netherlands defeated Kazakhstan 2-1

Emirates Arena, Glasgow, Great Britain

Tallon Griekspoor (NED) d. Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-1 3-6 6-3

Botic van de Zandschulp (NED) d. Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 3-6 6-1 6-4

Andrey Golubev/Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) d. Wesley Koolhof/Matwe Middelkoop (NED) 6-4 1-6 6-3